Patients and council leaders alike have spoken out positively about recent visits to hospitals in south east London, and reassured that the NHS is “working flat out to make services as safe as they possibly can be.”
Both are encouraging people to attend appointments in person where necessary, and to not delay in getting the help they need.
Danny Thorpe, the council leader at Greenwich Council, spoke out this week after a short stay at University Hospital Lewisham following an accident earlier this year.
Expressing his thanks to staff, the councillor urged people to take advantage of NHS services available to them, despite Covid-19 restrictions.
“I want to say a massive thank you to all of the staff who helped keep me and many other people safe.
” was so impressed by the measures that the hospital is taking to keep our NHS open, because it’s absolutely essential that – if you need treatment – you must not delay in getting the help that you need.
“The whole of our healthcare system is working incredibly hard to ensure that our residents receive the healthcare that they need in this pandemic.”
Evelina London Children’s Hospital has issued a similar message that it is “safe to come.”
The trust has reiterated that if your child has been invited for a face-to-face appointment or procedure, it’s important you come, even if Covid-19 restrictions have changed.
Craig Ravenhill, 31, has been travelling down from Doncaster to attend appointments at Evelina London with his eight-year-old son.
Dylan has a rare kidney condition, so is attending hospital twice a week to take part in clinical trials.
Craig said: ““I feel very reassured by the changes the hospital has made. The hospital feels very ordered and calm and everyone is very good at keeping their distance.
“The signs explaining where you stand are very clear and helpful. It’s very easy to navigate and staff are on hand to show people where to go.”
“When I visit I honestly have no worries and Dylan looks forward to his appointments and seeing his nurses and doctors.
“The staff are very thorough in their approach to tackling COVID-19 and are great at explaining the changes to children such as the importance of hand hygiene.”
Craig continued: “Coming to Evelina London involves a two-hour train journey from Doncaster and sometimes we have to use the tube, but I’ve had no issues using public transport.
“The trains and tube have largely been quiet so it’s very easy to keep your distance from other passengers.
“Dylan’s appointments are vital to his health and since he has been taking part in the trial we have seen a huge improvement to his condition.
“It’s great that the hospital has made changes so all patients can safely continue their care.”
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, which includes Evelina London, has also launched a ‘Stay Safe, Keep Apart’ campaign with signs guiding patients where to wait and queue safely to maintain social distancing.
Shona Perkins, lead nurse for infection prevention and control, at Evelina London, said: “The safety of our patients and staff is of utmost importance to us and we have taken extra steps to make sure they are as safe as possible when they visit our hospital and community sites.”
Cllr Thorpe added: “We need you to do your bit – to make sure that you get those appointments and take up the services that are offered to you.
“Everyone is working absolutely flat-out to make our services as safe as they possibly can. I want to say again a massive thank you to everyone working in the NHS.”