Edinburgh Western General Covid-19 outbreak: All contact tracing complete, NHS Lothian confirms

All contact tracing in relation to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh is complete, NHS Lothian has confirmed.

By Elsa Maishman
Friday, 16th October 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 16th October 2020, 10:37 am
The investigation into the outbreak is ongoing.
The investigation into the outbreak is ongoing.

A Covid-19 outbreak in the oncology ward was announced on Friday October 9, with the death of at least one patient.

Six patients were confirmed to have tested positive for the virus, and the oncology ward was closed to new admissions and discharges.

Patients who would normally go home for the weekend and return for treatment on Monday were asked to stay on the ward.

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A Multi-Disciplinary Incident Management Team was set up to deal with the outbreak, and contact tracing for visitors and outpatients was taken on by NHS Lothian’s Health Protection Team and nationwide Test and Protect teams.

A “series of robust and enhanced infection control measures” were also put in place on the ward, NHS Lothian said.

On Monday it was announced that another patient had died with Covid-19, and three more had tested positive.

Six members of staff also tested positive.

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The investigation continues into potential causes of the outbreak, with a view to changes being made in future if necessary.

Professor Alex McMahon, Executive Director for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Healthcare Professionals said: “Our investigations around the recent outbreak of COVID-19 at a ward at the Western General Hospital are still ongoing.

“At a time when community transmission is both widespread and rising, it is not always possible to identify one particular source of infection, and it would be wrong to speculate at this stage. We can confirm, however that all contact tracing in relation to these cases is complete.

“The role of the IMT, as part of these investigations, is to determine and assess all potential contributory factors, and if necessary implement any immediate changes as a result to maintain patient and staff safety.

“We recognise that this may be a worrying time for patients, but we offer our assurance that your safety will always be our main priority. We would urge patients attending our hospitals to continue to come for treatment as normal.”

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