Wirral University Teaching Hospital is marking two years since it became the UK’s first quarantine site since 1978 at the start of the country’s COVID-19 journey.
The Trust’s Chief Executive, Janelle Holmes, has paid tribute to the tremendous efforts of staff that has continued since those very first days and to mark the two-year anniversary the hospital will light up its front entrance on 31 January 2020.
Wirral was among the first areas in the UK impacted by the COVID-19 situation when returning UK citizens from Wuhan and the Diamond Princess cruise liner were repatriated and quarantined in a staff accommodation block within the grounds of Arrowe Park Hospital.
Janelle Holmes, Chief Executive, at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said, “Our journey in facing COVID-19 started much earlier than some areas and at that point, it had not yet become a pandemic.
“I am very proud of how quickly we responded as a Trust and of the great partnership work we developed with organisations across Wirral and other parts of Merseyside.
“The community spirit in making the guests welcome was outstanding and all repatriated guests left our site with a clean bill of health.”
The community of Wirral, and afar, welcomed the repatriated Britons, schoolchildren sent in messages of support and people rallied by donating items for the guests who were in quarantine for 14 days.
A message was left by the guests on the window of the accommodation block thanking all those who were involved in their care.
Dr Nikki Stevenson, Deputy Chief Executive and Medical Director at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, added, “Since those early days we have responded very quickly at each stage of the changing COVID-19 situation.
“Over the past two years NHS staff have faced pressure like never before. This year has been another very busy winter in our hospitals but our dedicated staff have continued to provide the best care possible for patients and for the community
“COVID-19 has had an impact on all of us and we particularly remember all those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. Our staff have always sought to lessen the impact of COVID-19, whether it is by caring for patients or through our vaccination programme.
“We were delighted to be one of the first COVID-19 Vaccine Centres in the country. It gave a sense of hope that we could start protecting our most vulnerable residents and we quickly got that up and running. Since then we have vaccinated 140,000 people at the centre.
“Billions of people have been vaccinated globally and the evidence shows it is the safest and best way to be protected from COVID-19 and prevent serious illness or death.
“COVID-19 remains a significant health risk and we continue to urge people to please get vaccinated if they have not had their vaccine yet and to ensure they have their second dose and their booster when invited to do so.”