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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Update: British Citizens Repatriated- COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Update from Janelle Holmes, Chief Executive at Wirral University Teaching Hospital on Wednesday, 19th February

I’m writing to you as promised, to ensure you are kept informed of the emerging situation in relation to the ongoing efforts in the UK to respond to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

As you may have seen in the press, 78 British nationals are currently quarantined on board a cruise ship in Japan and the UK Foreign Office has been working to organise a flight back to the UK to repatriate them.

Following the successful management of two previous groups of repatriated British citizens, from Wuhan in China, Arrowe Park has been asked to host the Britons from Japan and look after them throughout their quarantine period.

We are still waiting for final confirmation of how many will be joining us but we wanted you to be aware of the situation as soon as we could.

Everyone being repatriated will be assessed before boarding the plane in Japan, monitored during the flight and will continue to be monitored after landing in the UK. No one showing symptoms of COVID-19 will board the plane in Japan. If anyone develops symptoms during the flight, they will be assessed and transferred to a suitable NHS hospital on landing in the UK.

I am aware we had only recently told you we were in the process of supporting the staff displaced from the accommodation block to move back in, and I want to apologise to you for this change of plan so soon after that communication.

As before, we will be working with staff from NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England, local partners Wirral CCG, Wirral Council, Wirral Community Health and Care NHS FT, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS FT, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, The Red Cross, and other voluntary groups, to support these guests from their arrival, and throughout their stay with us.

We are still ironing out some of the arrangements and looking at ways that we can ensure the minimal possible disruption to the day-to-day work of the trust, and other local organisations, and we will keep you updated on a regular basis.

As I’m sure you can appreciate, the response to this outbreak has required everyone respond quickly to an evolving situation. We want to express our gratitude to those affected and apologise for the ongoing inconvenience but thank you for your continued support.

I remain committed to ensuring you are all kept well informed, and I want to again assure you, that my door, and that of the rest of the executive team here, are open to you, should you have any questions.

Kind regards,

Janelle Holmes,

Chief Executive