STRINGENT bio security and infection control measures are being put into force in the Royal Oldham Hospital and others run by the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA) to ensure patients and staff remain safe as we start to return services to normal.

The new measures were introduced on Monday, May 18 at the NCA’s four hospitals; Salford Royal, The Royal, Fairfield General in Bury, and Rochdale Infirmary, to keep infection rates down.

The NCA brings together the Salford Royal and Pennine Acute trusts.

This means that there are now separate entrance points for patients, visitors and staff at all of NCA hospitals, manned by security, to make sure both groups are protected from potential exposure to Covid-19.

Some smaller entrances on hospital sites have now been locked and staff will have to produce ID to enter the premises. We are asking staff and patients to use hand sanitiser on entry to hospital to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Dr Chris Brookes, chief medical officer at the NCA said: "This new system is a way of politely making sure that patients and visitors have an appropriate reason to be on our site.

"This is all part of the new normal and everybody has a responsibility to follow the measures."

The new safety and infection prevention measures recognise that the prevalence and risk of Covid-19 spreading is still with us and very real.

As the NCA begins to enter a period of recovery and stabilisation, there will be more patients attending our hospitals for elective and outpatient appointments. These steps will ensure this return to normality is done as safely as possible, Dr Books said.

He went on said: “The safety and wellbeing of everyone is the NCA’s top priority. We all have a responsibility to work together to ensure our hospitals are safe and secure for our patients, ourselves and for each other.

“We want everyone to be safe, and feel safe, across our hospitals, whether you are at work or in our care.”

Under the new measures some staff will be asked to wear the level of PPE recommended for their role before entering any of our clinical areas.

Staff, patients and visitors will all be asked to observe social distancing, even when they have to queue, including at any of our entrance points.

Signage informing staff, patients and visitors of these new measures is currently being rolled out at all of the NCA’s hospital sites.

Pictured: Dr Chris Brookes, Chief Medical Officer at the NCA