Latest news from Torbay and South Devon Health Service

Apr 20, 2020 | Community News Post

Latest news from Torbay and South Devon Health Service

Open the file here  Issue 2 17 April 2020 final or read below.

We are sending you this update to keep you informed about Trust developments. We thought you would find it especially helpful during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please feel free to share these updates amongst your networks. If you wish to unsubscribe, please email:

We are ensuring our website has the latest information on it so please do look there for the most up-to-date information

You also keep up-to-date by following us on Twitter and Facebook

 Your NHS Is Here For You – Getting Help In An Emergency

Local people should be assured that urgent and emergency services continue to be there if they are unwell and need help. If you or a loved one are unwell and need urgent care please do contact health services as you would normally. In an emergency call 999 or visit the Emergency Department. This applies to care for children and adults alike.

We do understand that people maybe concerned about attending but we want everyone to know that precautionary measures are in place and that there are real dangers in not seeking help for serious conditions.

Hospitals and GP practices across Devon have put in place special measures to protect patients and staff from COVID-19, whether they are treating a patient with symptoms of the virus, or for other illnesses. In many cases those affected by the virus are being seen in separate areas.

We are still here for you if you need help.

  • If you or someone you know has a life-threatening injury or illness, such as severe chest pain, bleeding, loss of consciousness or signs of a stroke, call 999 or go to the nearest emergency department.
  • Some hospital procedures, operations and clinics are continuing to take place in Devon. Hospitals are making their own local arrangements which may change over time.
  • Our Minor Injuries Unit at Newton Abbot is open as usual – 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week. Please note that the Dawlish and Totnes Minor Injuries Units are temporarily closed.
  • GP practices in Devon remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need to see your GP, for example for back pain, arthritis or asthma, contact your practice via their website or by phone. Your consultation may be via phone, video or in person.

Accessing urgent dental care

Patients with an urgent or emergency dental condition must not attend any clinics. There is a system in place to triage them to help manage the flow to centres and avoid queues (in line with social- distancing measures).

Registered patients

People who have a dental practice and use it regularly should contact their dentist by phone to seek a referral. All NHS dental surgeries should be accessible by phone, even though their doors are shut.

Unregistered patients

People who don’t have a dentist should call the dental helpline in Devon on 03330 063300

Outpatient appointments

Given the current instructions from the government to stay at home to combat the coronavirus epidemic, we are reducing the number of non-essential medical appointments.

All non-essential outpatient appointments are being stood down and appointments are undergoing a clinical review by the appropriate specialist. Following the clinical review, unless the appointment is essential, it may be replaced with a non-face to face appointment such as a telephone consultation or it may be deferred for a clinically-appropriate period of time.

This means if people who have an appointment booked over the coming weeks should do not attend the appointment unless advised otherwise by the Trust. If the appointment is deemed to be essential we will contact directly – people do not need to contact us.

Offers of support

We have been and continue to be overwhelmed by the level of support we have received. This means so much to us.

As we said in the last update we have set up a just giving page for anyone who would like to donate at this time and again the response has been fantastic. We can assure you that all the money raised will go to supporting our staff in their care at this time

We cannot thank you enough for any donation made, it will make a lasting difference.

Donate via this link:

New Nightingale Hospital in Exeter

A new NHS Nightingale Hospital will be opened in Westpoint Exeter to provide 200 extra beds for patients with coronavirus symptoms, if needed. The new emergency facility, announced by NHS Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens, brings the total to seven confirmed NHS Nightingale Hospitals across the country. The five acute hospitals in Devon and Cornwall, including Torbay Hospital, will provide the majority of care for critically ill patients with coronavirus, and have plans in place to increase their critical care capacity up to 500 beds across both counties.

The new hospital, which is expected to be ready for the first patients by Early May, will provide a regional resource of 200 beds for Devon, Cornwall and neighbouring counties to meet the care needs for patients who are seriously unwell due to their coronavirus symptoms.


What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms (a temperature above 37.8 degrees or a new, continuous cough) should use the NHS 111 online service to complete a coronavirus assessment, not call 111. GOV.UK WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Service

A new GOV.UK WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Service has also been launched.

The purpose of this product is to combat the spread of misinformation propagated through WhatsApp on an Official Government channel. To use the service, simply add +44 7860 064422 to your contacts and send a WhatsApp message saying “Hi”.

Sharing Good news

Our staff have been absolutely amazing in the way they have continued to provide excellent care during this pandemic. It has been heart warming to receive so many messages of thanks and this means so much to our staff.

You may have read or seen coverage about some of our in local media. It was lovely to see Ariel from our catering department on ITV Westcountry last night to show how are support staff are so important in helping us provide great care.