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Patient Safety Paramount, Say Royal Surrey Chiefs After Doctors Prove Covid-19 Positive

Published on: 23 Oct, 2020
Updated on: 24 Oct, 2020

Growlers & Cans in Chertsey Street where the reported incident took place. Photo Google Maps

Executives at the Royal Surrey hospital today rushed to reassure patient safety after The Guardian revealed two junior doctors had tested positive for Covid-19.

They had been infected at a social gathering on October 2 with other junior doctors in Guildford town centre pub Growler and Cans, a meeting not authorised by the Royal Surrey. Investigation showed mask-wearing, social distancing and rule-of-six restrictions were not strictly enforced.

Royal Surrey sources said a full internal investigation into the conduct of the 22 medics is ongoing. Staff involved swiftly isolated and are now back at work, except the two.

Louise Stead

Louise Stead, the Foundation Trust’s chief executive, emailed hospital staff: “This is a stark and serious example of the need to uphold the correct behaviour at all times.

“A full track and trace of any patient contact has [shown] there is no evidence of transmission to patients.

“Our services continue to run safely, and patients can use these confidently and attend planned appointments and procedures.”

Dr Mark Evans, the hospital’s deputy medical director, said: “This incident took place outside work and has been reported appropriately, and there was no disruption to our services for patients.”

Surrey police said: “We have carried out a full and thorough investigation to ascertain whether these individuals breached Covid-19 legislation.

“It was clear efforts were made to socialise within the rule of six but there were some breaches of legislation, not wearing face masks when moving around in the venue.

“The proportionate response has been to warn the individuals. This is a difficult time for all, but there is an expectation that those who work to protect others do not put themselves or others at risk.”

Cllr Joss Bigmore

Council leader Joss Bigmore said: “We have worked closely with police over this. Growlers and Cans have been fully cooperative and we have supported them with advice on operating within the Covid guidance.

“We did not find it necessary to take formal action [and] we will continue monitoring visits to ensure compliance with Covid safety requirements.

“We continue to urge residents to follow government guidance, to keep washing hands and keep a social distance while enjoying and supporting our borough’s venues and green spaces.”

The Royal Surrey revelation had first appeared in the Public Health Journal and initially Public Health England had declared an outbreak but contact tracing concluded there was no risk to patients because personal protective equipment was used at work.

The latest government pandemic guidelines and legislations can be found via:

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