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In the 15 months since the pandemic first reached the UK, the Barts Health group of hospitals has successfully treated and discharged 15,000 COVID-19 patients. This latest milestone was recorded on July 1 as London’s biggest NHS trust set out its plans to restore as much routine surgery and regular...

In the 15 months since the pandemic first reached the UK, the Barts Health group of hospitals has successfully treated and discharged 15,000 COVID-19 patients.

This latest milestone was recorded on July 1 as London’s biggest NHS trust set out its plans to restore as much routine surgery and regular outpatient care as possible over the next few months.

The four acute hospitals in the group are already running as many planned operations and outpatient appointments as last autumn before the second wave hit, and aim to reach 90% of pre-pandemic activity by September.

This is making inroads into the backlog of long waits that built up as elective work was suspended so that staff could focus on COVID patients.

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More than 90,000 patients on the waiting list are being prioritised according to clinical need and the length of time they have waited and we have already reduced the numbers forced to wait over 12 months by one third in three months. 

In addition, over 55,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been successfully delivered to health and care workers at Barts Health.

The temporary vaccination hubs were set up at Whipps Cross Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Newham Hospital respectively.

The temporary vaccination centre, the NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre, Newham – based at the ExCeL London has delivered over 130,000 doses of the vaccine to staff and members of the public alike in just six months.

This number included 10,000 doses through outreach clinics in the community, with mosques, synagogues, churches and temples stepping up to provide clinics for people to get their vaccine and assuage concerns from the religious communities they serve.

Dame Alwen Williams DBE, Group Chief Executive at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “The challenges of Covid brought out the very best in team Barts Health. Together we responded magnificently in the face of adversity and brought our vision and WeCare values to life in ways we never imagined.

“Our staff remain our greatest asset and their well-being is at the heart of our plans for the future. We are determined to build on the scale and pace of transformational change we have achieved so far and this plan sets out how we will do exactly that.”

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