05.08.2021

A celebration of NHS achievements throughout lockdown

W12 is proud to support the NHS. Surplus funds from W12 venue hire goes to Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust for the development of front-line and future staff. We’ve always been proud of our relationship with the national health service but now, we are more grateful than ever – so we’ve shared the greatest achievements of our NHS throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

Vaccine administration
As of June 3rd, 66,180,731 vaccines have been given by the NHS since early January, with 25.7 million adults in the UK fully vaccinated. This means that 50% of the UK population have had both doses of their Covid-19 vaccination, including the country’s most vulnerable to the virus.

Funding for patient comms
Imperial Health Charity helped to create opportunities for loved ones to communicate with isolated hospital patients by funding faster Wi-Fi and providing tablets for video calls. Due to the highly infectious nature of the Coronavirus, patients admitted to hospital with the virus were unable to accept visitors or leave their wards. This initiative meant that patients could communicate with loved ones during their hospital stay.

Patient shielding
Before vaccines were developed, those who were particularly vulnerable to the virus (for example due to age or underlying health conditions), were advised to ‘shield’ from March 2020. This meant that those classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ were given guidance to stay at home apart from to attend a medical appointment, in case of an emergency or for exercise. Shielding is no longer required, with vulnerable and elderly members of the public the first to be offered a vaccine in December 2020.

Nightingale hospitals
The setup and usage of the country’s seven Nightingale hospitals gave the NHS additional capacity during the peak(s) of the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK, providing 4,000 extra beds. The fully functional new ‘hospitals’ were built using inactive concert and events venues which were transformed into spaces for NHS personnel to store and deliver oxygen safely to patients whilst the health system came under strain. A year after their creation, many Nightingale hospitals have been decommissioned, repurposed as vaccine centres or reopened in their original form.

NHS 111
The existing NHS 111 service became the main triage facility throughout the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, peaking at almost 950,000 visits to the online platform per day in March (95 times the average daily volume). The service, available via telephone and online, allowed the public to check symptoms and helped to determine whether in-person care would be needed, vitally easing pressure on Accident and Emergency departments.

Track and Trace
In addition to digital and telephone triage, the NHS app became a must-have for anyone with a smartphone in the UK – and is still of importance today. The app gave immediate access to symptom checks, information on local restrictions, isolation notification and now, vaccine logs.

The track and trace process requires ‘checking in’ to hospitality venues and local services to ensure that in the event of a virus outbreak, anyone who has been in attendance can be contacted with notification to isolate and prevent further spread of the virus.

Coronavirus testing
Coronavirus tests were first made available to anyone with symptoms of the virus so that people knew to isolate to prevent further spread (using the NHS app), before introduction of both antibody, rapid and symptom-free tests. Antibody tests reveal whether somebody has ever had Covid-19, whilst rapid lateral flow tests provide a result in just 30 minutes.

Facilities and establishments across the UK became Coronavirus testing stations, with the public able to book a slot online for free and walk or drive-in. Now, Covid-19 tests can be ordered online and completed at home and are widely available for those still going into work or coming into contact with larger numbers of people (for example teachers, who must test at home twice a week).

Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)
With the National Health Service under strain throughout the pandemic and the public required to stay at home, it was imperative that those who required medical assistance were still able to access it. Social media campaigns and advice from the government as well as reputable health authorities shared the importance of continuing to have non-Coronavirus symptoms checked alongside reminders that healthcare was still accessible.

The Electronic Prescription Service allows patients to communicate with GPs digitally or via telephone, book appointments, receive prescriptions and contact-free deliveries for vulnerable patients.