Senior managers from Reading’s Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust (RBFT)have today issued a personal public ‘thank you’ to colleagues from the independent health sector for their superb support during the Covid crisis.
Through the pandemic teams from Berkshire’s three local independent hospitals – Spire Dunedin Hospital (Spire), Circle Reading Hospital and Berkshire Independent Hospital (BIH) – have provided a range of help to RBFT in order to provide Covid secure services and to support staff.
The majority of elective surgery at the Trust’s Reading site was put on hold but vital lifesaving operations continued through the pandemic thanks to teams at the independent hospitals.
Over the last 3 months Spire Dunedin Hospital also provided vital support to RBFT’s acute oncology and day case haematology chemotherapy services.
Going forwards, RBFT and independent sector providers are continuing to work together with RBFT providing surgery, diagnostic and outpatient services from Circle, Spire and BIH.
Nicky Lloyd, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “the pandemic has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone across the entire health system.
“The support we received from our colleagues in the independent sector has been second to none. By allocating space for some of our patients and support from their staff for our colleagues, we were able to focus our attention on dealing with the pandemic, reassured in the knowledge that our other patients were in very safe hands at Spire, Circle and Berkshire Independent,” she added.
“The speed at which we were all able to work together to safely lift and shift entire services to different locations has been truly outstanding and we’re very keen to continue our close working relationship with our partners in the local independent sector so we can provide local people with first rate healthcare.
“Now that we’re easing services back on to our Reading site, we want to reassure people we have taken extensive measures to make their visits here as safe and welcoming as possible. Masks and face coverings are being worn by all staff, patients and visitors, strict social distancing measures are in place along with very extensive infection control cleaning procedures,” said Nicky.
John Crisp – Hospital Director, Spire Dunedin Hospital, said: “It has been an honour and incredibly rewarding to support the NHS, to ensure that vital services to patients have been able to continue during such challenging times. Having an established oncology department on site meant that the RFBT oncology and chemotherapy services integrated incredibly well, and essentially became one team during their time with us. An existing strong relationship with the Trust has simply grown stronger and as a hospital team we are keen to provide whatever ongoing support we can, for as long as we continue to be needed.”
Elaine Long, Hospital Director at the Berkshire Independent Hospital, said: “The Berkshire Independent Hospital was happy to offer its full support to the Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust to assist with its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“In addition to undertaking urgent orthopaedic, urology and procedures for patients with skin cancers, we are proud that we were also able to second members of our clinical teams to care for patients at the Trust during the crisis.
“We will continue to work closely with the Trust to provide support where it is required in the forthcoming months. “
Carly Hiscock, Hospital Director at Circle Reading Hospital, said: “The pandemic has certainly posed a variety of challenges, but I’m really proud of how our hospital has adapted to support our NHS colleagues. The team at RBFT have been fantastic, and we’ve worked closely together to ensure local NHS patients continue to receive vital treatment over the last few months. We have implemented a wide range of additional safety measures to keep our patients and staff safe, and now have the vast majority of our services back up and running. We’re looking forward to continuing our close working relationship with the team at RBFT into the future, and are now welcoming many more patients back for routine healthcare.”