The chief nurse of Guy's and St Thomas' has said that "plans are in place" for local hospitals to treat Coronavirus patients, with a confirmed case in the UK almost "inevitable".
Dame Eileen Sills updated colleagues on Coronavirus preparedness at Wednesday's Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust board meeting.
"The responsibility we have is twofold as an organisation: one is to ensure that we could accept any positive patient in the country because we are an HCID [high consequence infectious disease] centre (and there are five HCID centres in the country), and secondly that we can respond to anybody who is turning up who thinks they might well be symptomatic and have been exposed," she said.
"All our plans are in place. There is yet no confirmed case in the UK, but there is an increasing number in Europe, and there is a feeling that it is inevitable that we will get a confirmed case at some point in the near future."
Dame Eileen said that the NHS needs to be "calm and reassuring" in is communications on the topic.
She said that the trust is working with central NHS agencies to coordinate advice to medical staff: "We are reaching a point where we need to give guidance to staff and students who have potentially travelled from the Wuhan area. They will need to be off for two weeks and self-isolate."
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