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Surgeons retrained at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness in readiness for coronavirus duties

By Scott Maclennan

Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

Surgeons across a number of specialities at NHS Highland have received an on-the-job crash course in caring for patients infected with coronavirus.

The surgeons have been taking part in classes led by colleagues with direct and relevant experience of dealing with patients with acute respiratory illnesses.

It is part of a major effort by the health board to repurpose as much of its resources as possible to deal with coronavirus.

Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, has already said that she expects a “tsunami” of cases will descend on NHS Scotland.

Surgeons have been given refresher courses on personal protective equipment use, resuscitation, respiratory support and new team structures.

Other areas covered include chest x-rays, oxygenation and end of life care.

An NHS Highland spokesman said: “A wide range of planning and preparation has been ongoing for a number of weeks and will continue so we can best prepare the NHS locally to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are working at pace to prepare NHS staff for the anticipated rise in cases of COVID-19. Some staff will change their usual roles so they can deliver care where it is most needed and tailored training is being provided to support this.

“The public can play its part too if everyone adheres to the national guidance around social distancing, self-isolation if you or anyone in your household has symptoms and if everyone strictly follows the recommended hygiene measures of frequent hand-washing and avoiding touching your face.”

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