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‘We are here, we are ready’: Surgery’s lead nurse says more testing is needed to know full extent of pandemic

PUBLISHED: 13:47 27 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:08 27 April 2020

Staff at Grove Surgery in Thetford in full PPE. Photo: Jettie Vije

Staff at Grove Surgery in Thetford in full PPE. Photo: Jettie Vije

Jettie Vije

A lead nurse has warned that the country cannot know if it has reached the peak of the coronavirus outbreak without full testing.

Jettie Vije is head nurse at Grove Surgery in Thetford. Photo: Jettie VijeJettie Vije is head nurse at Grove Surgery in Thetford. Photo: Jettie Vije

Jettie Vije, lead nurse at Grove Surgery, in Thetford, has praised her staff and patients for following coronavirus guidance but says official testing is needed to know the full extent of the pandemic.

Ms Vije said: “The biggest thing at the moment is waiting and seeing what will happen next.

“We have patients with possible symptoms but without testing we don’t know how many people in Thetford have it.

“Doctors are speaking to patients regularly who are following guidance and self-isolating but it’s very difficult to know what the numbers are.

Jettie Vije is head nurse at Grove Surgery in Thetford. Photo: Jettie VijeJettie Vije is head nurse at Grove Surgery in Thetford. Photo: Jettie Vije

“We have been looking at how we make it as safe as possible for us as nurses and our patients.

“Initially it was difficult, putting everything in place, lots of phone calls from worried patients asking for advice and ordering sufficient PPE which is still a difficulty at times.

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“But people in the town are staying away, which is fantastic to see, and the panic seems to have settled. It’s just waiting for what happens next.”

Jettie Vije is head nurse at Grove Surgery in Thetford. Photo: Jettie VijeJettie Vije is head nurse at Grove Surgery in Thetford. Photo: Jettie Vije

This comes after the government pledged to do 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April but is currently managing about 20,000 and testing is not yet available for the general public.

But staff at the Grove Surgery, which is part of the Breckland Alliance, have said they are prepared for whatever comes their way and are willing to help wherever their services are needed.

And Ms Vije said she feels confident her team are doing everything they can to keep people in Thetford safe.

She added: “We are working hard to keep our service going for the public. We are seeing patients who need to be seen and planning for the future.

“We are also looking at our different skills and flexibility, putting nurses where they are most needed if and when this peak comes to Thetford.

“But we are prepared, and we are working closely with the hospitals, discharge planning teams and the community. We are here, we are ready.”

“It’s a real team effort in any surgery and It does really highlight the amazing work our nurses, and anyone working for the NHS, are doing.”


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