Could Covid-19 change the way Salisbury District Hospital works forever?

Could Covid-19 change the way Salisbury District Hospital works forever?

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 5:51am 22nd April 2020.

3 minute read

The alterations made to services while the outbreak is ongoing might stay long after the situation improves.

Salisbury District Hospital has tried to minimise the number of patients and visitors coming into possible contact with the coronavirus in recent weeks.

They've made changes like reducing the number of people allowed onto wards, instead encouraging people to use the hospital's free Wifi to keep in touch.

Tisbury Ward Salisbury District Hospital NHS Stay at Home Coronavirus Message March 2020
Hospital staff have been on social media asking us to stay at home to help stop the spread of Covid-19

Another way to cut unnecessary visits has been to take more outpatients appointments out of system, with doctors and consultants phoning or video calling people.

Medical Director at the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Christine Blanshard says there's a chance that might remain for the long term: 

"We've discovered that our patients actually quite often like by telephoned or Facetimed, rather than having to come up to the hospital and finding somewhere to park. Our clinicians have become more confident in consulting with patients in that sort of way too."

Elderly person on a phone
Consultants have been calling more patients to save them the trip to the hospital

Salisbury District Hospital was already trying out the idea of making more outpatients services 'virtual' before the Covid-19 outbreak hit.

The pandemic has just forced the Trust to speed up the process. 

Dr Blanshard has told Spire FM it's something they're embracing:

"I think that whilst there will always be a role for face-to-face outpatients, and we know some patients still prefer that, we probably won't go back to the way we were before. I think that will be true across the NHS, not just in hospitals."

Salisbury District Hospital - SDH - Main Entrance (Mike Draper) (1)
The Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust is looking to minimise the number of people coming into the hospital at this time

For the time being, if you are due to be having an outpatients appointment at Salisbury District Hospital, you'll be contacted to advise you on whether your consultation will be carried out virtually, or whether you still need to attend.

Patients will also be given advice on visiting the hospital safely during the coronavirus outbreak.

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