New equipment to help NHS staff reduce spread of COVID-19

23 Apr 2020

We’ve given £1,600 rapid funding for new stethoscopes and walkie talkies at The Royal London Hospital to allow efficient treatment to continue for both patients with COVID-19 and those being treated for other illnesses, whilst limiting the spread of the disease.


Extra stethoscopes to limit infection

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, clinicians at The Royal London recognised that some of their everyday equipment could pose a risk of spreading the virus. For example, clinicians usually have their own stethoscope which they take from patient to patient, being cleaned between each visit.

Using our rapid COVID-19 funding, the team in the Emergency Department purchased additional stethoscopes which stay inside each room and are not transferred between patients. Once the patient has been discharged, the stethoscope can be thoroughly cleaned ready for the next patient.

Walkie-talkies for quicker communication

For the past few weeks, clinicians have been wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), making it difficult for them to use their mobile phones, which are frequently used to communicate with other clinicians. Donations have been used to purchase 20 new walkie-talkies, allowing quicker treatment for patients as clinicians can communicate with their colleagues across isolation zones, without needing to leave the room to remove their PPE.

The Emergency Department's Advanced Clinical Practitioner Jo Avery (pictured), who led the initiative says: "Covid-19 has presented us as a department with a multitude of issues.  From the beginning staff noticed that personal stethoscopes posed a problem in relation to infection control and appropriate cleaning after was needed in order to protect our patients.  The donated funds have enhanced safe patient care, as well as reduced staff anxiety in relation to infection control.

As for the walkie talkies, their use has proven to be invaluable , allowing us to communicate as a team in a quick and responsive way to better treat and care for patients. The donated funding for more walkie-talkies by Barts Charity has boosted staff morale, it really makes a difference knowing we are supported within our job roles at Barts Health NHS Trust by both staff and patients. Thanks from all the staff at the Royal London Hospital Emergency Department."

Initiatives like this are only possible with your help. Donate to our emergency COVID-19 appeal to fund projects that support patients and staff during this difficult time.

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