Tuesday 3 March 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board today confirms that the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) will continue to operate on weekdays from 6pm to 10pm, with no x-ray service until further notice. Weekend hours will remain as normal, from mid-day to mid-night, with a full service including x-ray. The weekday hours were implemented in December as part of BHB’s ‘Winter Plan’, to help reduce wait times in Emergency and improve access to inpatient beds over a very busy time of year.
Keeping to these weekday hours at the UCC allows BHB to focus resources on the KEMH Emergency Department, where high numbers of unwell people are still coming with seasonal respiratory illnesses and flu.
Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke, Chief of Emergency, comments: “We are grateful for the understanding of the community, especially in the East End, while we focus on caring for the increasing numbers of unwell people in the Emergency Department. On top of usual winter infectious respiratory diseases such as flu, we are also preparing in the event of a covid-19 outbreak in Bermuda. This will further pressure resources and we need to make sure we can care for people who have more serious symptoms. It is why we cannot stress enough for people to call their doctor or the Emergency Department if they believe they have been exposed to covid-19 or are experiencing fever or dry cough. This way you can be assessed and advised quickly, and you also protect other people in the waiting rooms and healthcare facilities – both patients and staff.”
Dr Okereke adds: “This was the first year BHB proactively devised and followed a winter plan to help us manage the yearly winter pressures and care for those most in need during this period. Comparing 16 December to 23 February this year to the same period last year, there was a very small 0.2% reduction in, or 11 fewer, individual visits to the Emergency Department (5,936 this year compared to 5,925 last year). However, there were 52 more admissions (896 compared to 844), or a rise of 6.2%, indicating more seriously ill patients. By having more resources in Emergency, booking time to discharge decreased on average by 49 minutes, or 14.7% (333 minutes to 284 minutes), with the wait for admissions to an inpatient bed dropping by 25.2% from 1,070 minutes to 800 minutes. The improved and more timely service resulted in more people being cared for and better patient flow, as 108 fewer people left before they were seen or treated, a drop of 64.4% (68 compared to 176 the previous year).”
People who are concerned about exposure to covid-19, or believe they have an infectious respiratory illness, should not turn up at a healthcare facility, but first call from home to their doctor’s office, the Emergency Department at 239-1301 or 239-1474 or during opening hours at the Lamb Foggo UCC 298-7700. They will be assessed over the phone and advised on next steps.