In line with national planning directed by Public Health England (PHE), the Conquest hospital has established a priority assessment pod near its Accident and Emergency Department for patients suspected of contracting the coronavirus. However, the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, stresses that the first port of call should be to contact NHS 111. Only if NHS 111 deems it necessary in individual cases, will arrangements be made with the hospital for tests to be conducted

Coronavirus pod at the Conquest
PICTURE: Dave Young

Vikki Carruth, the Trust’s Director of Nursing and of Infection Prevention and Control, issued a statement last month that “our staff have worked together to put in place everything that is required of us, to be prepared and respond if needed”.

National guidelines from PHE direct the Trust not to “get into a running commentary about numbers tested in our pods”. Any confirmed cases will be announced by PHE. At the time of going to press there have been none in the East Sussex healthcare area.

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Use this service if:
• you think you might have coronavirus;
• in the last 14 days you’ve been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus;
• you’ve been in close contact with someone with coronavirus.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.

If there’s a chance you could have coronavirus, you may be asked to stay away from other people (self-isolate).

This means you should:
• stay at home
• not go to work, school or public places
• not use public transport or taxis
• ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you
• try to avoid visitors to your home – it’s OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food

You may need to do this for up to 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.

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