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Suffolk and Essex health boss thanks public for their support

PUBLISHED: 18:10 16 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:10 16 April 2020

Nick Hulme, chief executive of ESNEFT, said health workers are receiving correct PPE when treating COVID-19 patients Picture: ARCHANT

Nick Hulme, chief executive of ESNEFT, said health workers are receiving correct PPE when treating COVID-19 patients Picture: ARCHANT

Rachel Edge

East Anglian health chiefs have reassured their staff are fully protected when treating infected patients during coronavirus outbreak - and have paid tribute to the ‘extraordinary’ public for their support during the crisis.

Nick Hulme, chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), said health workers are continuing to follow personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines set out by Public Health England, and confirmed any shortages are being addressed.

Mr Hulme also said staff at the trust, which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, have been trained in the correct use of PPE - while new ‘PPE Champions’ are being recruited to help support workers.

ESNEFT have also pledged to redistribute vital equipment across the region to services more in need.

MORE: Join our Facebook group for updates on coronavirus in Suffolk and Essex

Meanwhile, Mr Hulme paid tribute to the public for their kindness and support as the region prepares for the weekly ‘clap for carers’ on Thursday evening.

He said: “I have always felt very proud to work for the NHS. The generosity shown to us at ESNEFT by our local community is fantastic.

“These exceptional times are being matched by extraordinary kindness.”

He continued:“The safety of our staff and patients is our greatest priority. I do appreciate the anxiety and concern which people may have about personal protective equipment.

“There is a great deal of coverage about this in our communities at the moment, and I thought it would be helpful to reassure you about PPE at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, and also in our community services.

“We do have PPE in our hospitals and in the community, and where there are shortages, these are national shortages and they are being addressed.

“We are not working alone, but with all NHS and care providers across Suffolk and Essex to keep all our patients and staff safe.

“This helps us to manage the flow of PPE so it gets to the right place, at the right time, where it is most needed.”


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