As the number of Covid-19 cases hit 52 yesterday, Health and Social Care issued a statement appealing for the community's help.
It said the hospital was already experiencing the 'typical winter pressure of high admissions and availability of bed space due to the usual seasonal illnesses'.
But many admissions can be avoided and the length of stays reduced, it said.
‘The hospital is here if you need us,' said HSC medical director Dr Peter Rabey, 'but we must make sure we keep our limited acute capacity for where it is needed the most. We need to work as a community to protect our PEH.’
He said people should seek prompt medical attention from their doctor, and encouraged hospital patients to feel confident about leaving as soon as they are clinically advised to do so.
‘In line with the Bailiwick’s “Stay at home” stance, our clear message is that every day in hospital is a precious day away from home, so we really want to embed a home-first mind set,’ said director of hospital and community services Dermot Mullin.
'‘If you are told it is safe for you to be discharged then we are asking you and your family to make every effort to get you home.’
‘If you are concerned about any ailments don’t put them off, adopt a nip-it-in the-bud mentality,' said Dr Rabey. 'Issues that are not promptly dealt with could end up unnecessarily needing hospital treatment
Mr Mullin said that admissions to hospital could also be reduced by a common sense approach to avoiding risks. Everyone should make every effort to stay safe at home and avoid any unnecessary accidents.
While acknowledging that some long stays in hospital are unavoidable, it recognised that many patients could be discharged home or moved into 'appropriate care' sooner and it is working with care and residential homes to make sure transfers can still take place from the PEH into these facilities.
Meanwhile, community care services will continue to provide essential nursing and social care at home. Teams will be in contact if scheduled visits are being changed.
If anyone in a household that is due a visit has symptoms, is awaiting a test or has been contact traced, please contact the Community team so that we can risk assess and plan any critical care at home.
BLOB The PEH is currently closed to all visitors and all elective surgeries that had been scheduled for this week have been postponed. Any emergency surgery will continue as required. Islanders that have to attend the Emergency Department or other areas of the hospital will be asked to social distance and staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment.
BLOB Extra care housing schemes are closed to visitors, although exceptions will be made for end of life care and these should be agreed with the onsite care managers.