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Newsletter 9th April 2020

All staff members

We continue to be very grateful for all your hard work in health care and your loyalty to us at 18 Week Support.

We have decided to produce a weekly newsletter to inform you of what we are doing to provide clinical support to the NHS in these difficult times. The newsletter will also signpost you to useful resources for your work.

18WS Activity

As you will be aware, most of our support activity to the NHS has been suspended. We are confident that when this is all over, we will be busier than ever as waiting lists in our key specialities will have increased and we will be desperately needed to help reduce those.

However, NHS England has written to all trusts stating that cancer 2 week wait patients must still be prioritised, triaged and seen where appropriate.  The letter also states that it is important that patients are moved as far along their pathway as possible in the context of hospital activity vis SARS COVID 19.  Here is a link to that letter.

We continue to rapidly progress new ways of working to support the NHS through virtual technology in order to clinically triage waiting lists and prioritise those patients who are very urgent, and to provide patient consultations by telephone or video conference. We are also looking at how we provide initial diagnostics at non-acute hospital sites. This work is pertinent to the here and now, but also very pertinent to the future as post SARS COVID 19 the NHS will continue to increase its’ use of these virtual processes and strategies.

Next payment date

All shifts worked for 18WS in March 2020 will be paid and in your bank account on the 15th April by 5pm.   Please do not contact us if your payment is not in your account first thing in the morning. It is a tight turnaround with the bank holidays which means payments will be transferred throughout the day on the 15th.

Headquarter staff

Our headquarter staff continue to work with us, but with reduced working hours:

9 a.m. to 3: 30 p.m. Monday to Friday.


Below are links to free online learning resources that may be useful to you.

Free online access to three key textbooks as below:

Ward Based Critical Care

Respiratory Care: Assessment and Management

Arterial Blood Gas Analysis: Making It Easy 

Free online access to e learning modules that are CPD accredited:

Coronavirus E Learning from Health Education England 

Modules on:

  • PPE
  • IPC
  • Resources for staff in a critical care setting
  • Resources for staff in an acute hospital setting
  • Resources for staff being upskilled or redeployed
  • End of life care COVID 19
  • Equpment quick guidelines
  • Staff well being

Please also see the new updated PPE government guidance:
 Government UK Guidance PPE April 6th 2020   

Staying in Touch

We love our 18WS family and we want to stay in touch with you and get your feedback on how you are and what more we can do to support. The Lead Nurses and Nurses’ in Charge continue to have weekly catchups by telephone.

We are also planning virtual drop-in sessions for each specialty.  Invites will be sent out to you, so please save these dates on your calendar:

  • Surgery – 27th April 7pm
  • Endoscopy – 28th April 7pm
  • Ophthalmology – 30th April 7pm

Please send any comments or suggestions about this newsletter to Niara at nblommestein@18weeksupport.com.

With our very best wishes.

Jane Naish
Director of Nursing

Niara Blommestein
Service Operations Manager

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