Morecambe Bay health trust restricts hospital access and relocates services as further coronavirus death is announced at Royal Lancaster Infirmary

A woman aged 76 has died after being tested positive for COVID-19, as the RLI introduces controlled access points and relocates hospital services.

Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 9:35 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 9:36 am

The most recent announcement brings the total number of people who have died after testing positive for the virus at the hospital to eight.

These are six women aged 76, 78, 79, 89, and 95, and a woman in her 80s, and two men aged 72 and 90.

Due to the current risks associated with COVID-19, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) is temporarily restricting access to its hospitals in Lancaster, Barrow and Kendal.

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The Royal Lancaster Infirmary

It has also relocated its Oncology Unit from the RLI to Kendal, and its Fracture Clinic to the vacated Onclogy Unit at the RLI.

From today, Wednesday April 1, there will only be a small number of entrances (Controlled Access Points) at each hospital where staff and patients can gain access.

There will be a security presence on each point to allow only appropriate access.

‘Foluke Ajayi, Chief Operating Officer, UHMBT, said: “As we enter the next phase of our preparations to respond to COVID-19, we now need to ensure we manage all entry points to the

hospital buildings.

“This is a required measure to ensure we can control access to our buildings to minimise the risk of spread of infection and stop access to people who do not need to be here.”

At the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, the Controlled Access Points will be:

 Rear door on Centenary Building adjacent to the restaurant entrance (staff only)

 Medical Unit 1 front door (staff only)

 Medical Unit 2 front door (staff only)

 Centenary Building main entrance (patients and staff)

Staff will need to show valid UHMBT ID in order to gain access.

Foluke, continued: “The situation will be regularly reviewed and we will step these measures down at the earliest opportunity. However, at this time these are essential to ensure the safety

and welfare of our patients and staff. We would like to thank our staff and the public for their continued support and cooperation as we deal with this difficult situation.”

Meanwhile Oncology Services and the Fracture Clinic at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) have been temporarily moved to facilitate the expansion of UHMBT’s Emergency Department (ED) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moving the Oncology Services and Fracture Clinic will enable the Trust to make best use of its estates and meet the requirements of national guidelines on COVID-19 as well as improving patient safety in the ED.

Oncology Services at the RLI have now been moved from Medical Unit 1 to the Grizedale Unit in Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal. The Grizedale Unit is a modern and established Oncology Unit, providing chemotherapy treatment and care.

"The unit has sufficient capacity to accommodate the additional patients. All of the patients affected by this change will receive support from the Trust’s teams to assist them with the change of treatment location.

The Fracture Clinic at the RLI, which was next to the ED, has been transferred to Medical Unit 1, into the accommodation space that is to be vacated by Oncology Services. The new location for the Fracture Clinic includes accommodation for a plaster room and is sufficiently close to the satellite Radiology Unit to ensure care can continue to be delivered safely and efficiently.

No-one should visit any health and care settings if they: are unwell (especially if they have a high temperature or a new, persistent cough); are vulnerable as a result of their medication; have a chronic illness; or are over 70 years of age.

If they do feel unwell, they can use the NHS 111 online service for the latest advice and guidance.

The latest guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-informationfor-the-public and the online NHS 111 service can be accessed at https://111.nhs.uk/.