Updates on COVID-19

Gary Morgan

As you will know COVID-19 (coronavirus) is now starting to attract significant media coverage as cases rise across the UK and Europe. Following on from Jon’s leadership message last week, we continue to work collaboratively with a number of agencies to meet the rapidly changing situation.

As an example the COVID-19 SOP in AOC has seen a number of changes in a short space of time and we have also seen increased workload in our AOC clinical team (ECAT) through the clinical advice line. Please ensure you have read and keep up to to date with the latest information on Need to Know. Copies also available on East24

We have established a regional COVID-19 Co-ordination Centre in Norwich. This new service takes requests from healthcare providers, such as NHS 111, from across the region for patient testing which are then distributed to local healthcare teams. The centre also collates and distributes results. A case transport service is being established to coordinate transport requests for suspected COVID-19 patients. This will be linked to the emergency dispatch side of AOC where required. These two regional services operated by EEAST form a key part of what is known as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Patient Pathway.

The team at CallEEAST have done an outstanding job in getting the Co-ordination Centre up and running in a very short timescale which has been a considerable challenge. I would like to thank the whole team for their hard work and particularly mention Andrew Gay and Nicola Young for their leadership and collaborative work in setting this service up.

Talking of CallEEAST, you hopefully saw its official rebranding last week. CallEEAST, previously known as the commercial contact centre, handles calls for 79 different contracts including running the PTS eligibility screening and booking service. You can find out more about CallEEAST here.

In other news, EEAST is continuing its collaborative work with the recently established strategic alliance with our regional police forces. Following a successful joint workshop, a number of ideas were proposed where we could work together to improve the service to the public and our patients, including joint working initiatives and areas where we could potentially reduce the demands on each others service to make the best use of our resources. These have now been grouped and developed into five working groups which will be led by an EEAST and police senior manager. We will share more information as this develops.

Finally, thank you for your continued hard work. I know that the rising number of COVID-19 cases and wider media attention may have caused some uncertainty and concern. If you do have concerns or unanswered questions after reading the information on Need to Know, please do contact your line manager who will be able to help and/or signpost you to the various sources of support we have in place.


Published 12th March 2020

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