Nurses in County Durham have issued a fresh appeal to the public to maintain social distancing measures after their local hospital saw a further rise in coronavirus cases over the last week.
In a new video from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation trust, staff across the University Hospital of Hartlepool have called on the local community to continue to follow the two-metre rule to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
“Maintain the two-metre social distancing rule so that we can bring our numbers down”
It comes after an increase in cases over the past week in the area and as colleagues also signed an open letter urging the public to refrain from becoming “complacent”.
According to the trust and figures from the NHS North East Observatory Service, the number of coronavirus cases in Hartlepool had increased to 355 this week from 346 the previous week.
The trust described this as “significantly higher” than the national weekly average of 274. All national reported cases are measured for each area by a population of 100,000.
The trust’s video includes pleas from nurses, midwives and occupational therapists, who spoke out to encourage the public adhere to social distancing rules in response to the rise in cases.
During the short film, community matron Lynne Calder (pictured above), who works both at the hospital and in the community, said: “I’m just wanting to encourage the people of Hartlepool to maintain the two-metre social distancing rule so that we can bring our numbers down after the increase we have recently had.”
In addition, Amanda McNeany, lung cancer specialist nurse, stressed that following the measures would help keep those most vulnerable safe.
She said: “Our vulnerable patients have had a very anxious time. They’ve had tests, investigations and sometimes treatments postponed.
“We want to keep providing a safe environment for them so they can come and access the services they need.
“We encourage everybody to follow social distancing measures so we can get back to that as soon as we can.”
Meanwhile, Hayley Henderson, specialist lead midwife, stressed the importance of expectant mothers keeping two metres apart.
“We’re asking you remain two metres apart,” said Ms Henderson.
“Look after yourself and your unborn baby – we just don’t know enough about this virus.
“So, stay safe everyone and keep doing what you’re doing.”
Occupational therapist Rachel Burnham, who works in a care home, also highlighted how vital social distancing was in protecting older patients.
“I’m working in the care homes in Hartlepool looking after our most vulnerable, frail and elderly patients,” said Ms Burnham.
“We want to stress the importance of social distancing, to keep our patients safe and so they can see their families soon.”
Last week staff also signed an open letter calling on the town to continue to support measures. It said: “Now is not the time to be complacent. We know we can count on you to continue to support us.”