Hospital in Hove wins national award for its response to the Covid crisis
When the Covid-19 pandemic struck last year, The Montefiore Hospital in Hove did not wait around to step in and help.
The private hospital, in Montefiore Road, quickly adapted to become a regional hub for clinical surgery for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.
The support the hospital was able to give its NHS colleagues was invaluable and the response has now been recognised with a national award.
At the 15th annual LaingBuisson Awards – held virtually last week – the Montefiore Hospital achieved the Outstanding Response to COVID in Healthcare Award.
Lynette Awdry, the Montefiore’s director of clinical services, said: “We are delighted to win this award which reflects the tremendous hard work and dedication of all the team during this difficult year. When we opened our doors in 2012, little did we know we would be supporting our NHS colleagues during a global pandemic eight years later.”
The accolade was given to the hospital because it demonstrated 'a strong culture delivering better care, excellent communication, early responses, adapting to and overcoming
challenges during the pandemic including the turn-around of a challenging situation in healthcare'.
The Montefiore explained that in early March last year, before any national directive, the hospital’s management team had already decided to stop elective surgery, focusing only on time-critical procedures, such as cancer, and had informed all affected patients.
Simultaneously, the hospital completed a detailed assessment of its own resources and skill set and, by the Easter weekend 2020, had made a proposal to Brighton and Sussex
University Hospitals NHS Trust (recently renamed University Hospitals Sussex) to become a 'green' oncology Covid NHS hub.
A Montefiore spokesman said the geography of the entire hospital was redesigned with designated zones (red, amber, green) for patients on different pathways to keep them safe. The hospital ward was one such protected zone, and on-call beds were created to enable clinicians to stay on site if required.
"Based on the proposal, the trust assigned The Montefiore to be a regional hub for clinically urgent surgery," said the spokesman. "By April 15, The Montefiore was running theatre lists and a Covid swabbing and pre-op test service for NHS time-critical patients. It was the first independent hospital in the region to do surgery of any volume."
The hospital also adapted to digital technology to communicate with patients, GPs, consultants and staff. Zoom was used to host GP information events, patient physiotherapy classes and cancer support groups, daily staff meetings, to communicate with other private hospitals, and weekly meetings with the trust, the spokesman added.
At the same time, it continued to provide care for its cancer patients, including practical and emotional support such as launching a home delivery service for chemotherapy drugs, and
making regular contact with chemotherapy patients via Zoom or telephone to see how they were coping.
Lynette Awdry added: “Having cancer during a pandemic is extremely frightening and challenging for patients, relatives, staff and clinicians involved. Our response was agile and effective
and allowed us to provide outstanding safe care for all our patients for which I would love to thank our wonderful staff.”
The Montefiore Hospital is now fully open for private patients while continuing to provide care for NHS patients and help reduce waiting times.
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