Lamb Foggo shutdown explained
The urgent care centre in the East End was shut down to keep as many medical staff as possible available to man the general hospital as it prepared to come under “unprecedented pressure” due to the Covid-19 crisis, the Bermuda Hospitals Board said tonight.
A spokeswoman added: “The pressure is all the greater given that some of our staff members, like some of the island population, are currently on quarantine, depleting our limited numbers.”
She was speaking after the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre in St David's closed earlier this month.
The spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately, right now, we do not have enough staffing resources for the out-of-hours urgent care service in St David's, which had averaged three to five people per day over the last ten days it was open.”
But she added: “We remain open to other healthcare providers using the facility if critical needs have to be met and we are liaising with the Ministry of Health.”
The spokeswoman said: “Our ability to open up again during the current state of emergency will be reliant on both the pressures in Emergency due to Covid-19 and the number of available staff.”
She dismissed suggestions that the St David's clinic could be used to isolate Covid-19 patients to keep them away from other patients in the KEMH.
The spokeswoman explained that patients with the disease needed access to care that could only be given at the main hospital.
She added there were also risks associated with keeping the UCC open for non-Covid-19 cases.
The spokeswoman said that “there may be asymptomatic people with Covid-19 in the community who can still infect others”.
She added: “This is why other clinics and doctors' offices have moved to a call first service for all patients, except the Emergency Department, which is the only service that cannot close its doors due to the life-saving nature of its service.”
The spokeswoman said the UCC was never intended to provide emergency services and people with serious injuries or illnesses should always go to the KEMH.
She added: “Going to the UCC in such instances can delay care when time is critical.
“People in the East End can also call 911 as there is an ambulance stationed at the police station in St David's which can pick them up.”