Important update on how we're dealing with Covid-19

Jon Moore

I want to start by thanking you all for continuing to provide a great service to our patients, despite the challenges facing us all, personally and professionally, from the arrival of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Over the coming weeks we expect to see a rising numbers of confirmed cases and even higher numbers of suspected cases of Covid-19. Together with our partner agencies within the health service and other emergency services we are well prepared.

EEAST has agreed with NHSE that – working with the 111 service - we will take on the central service to book and coordinate swabbing across our region, together with the coordination of patient contact for negative results, this will be based in our Norwich Contact Centre. This will relieve the pressure on us to move patients suspected of having Covid-19 to the “pods” at the hospitals for swab testing.

We have published a number of documents to assist staff on our EAST24 site which can be found here. These include the Operational Instruction for staff responding on the frontline, the guidance for AOC staff on the pathway as well as more detailed information on the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which should be used and how to use it. There are also links to the national guidance from Public Health Englanddetails on what to do if members of our own teams are sick or suspect of infection and some frequently asked questions. Please read them. I would also encourage you to discuss this with your line manager, including any worries or doubts you may have.

If frontline staff have any concerns when responding to an incident these should be raised through one of our support mechanisms. We have the local LOM Teams able to support staff on the ground with many aspects, specialist advice from our NILO teams for multi-agency or complex incidents, our Clinical Advice Line for telephone advice on clinical matters and of course our dispatch teams on the end of the radio at all times.

I expect the immediate future will continue to test us and there will be further changes and developments. Please ensure you keep up to date with the information being released internally and through your local teams.

Please take care of yourselves and thank you again for your hard work, patience and determination to continue to provide an outstanding service to our patients.


Published 5th March

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