Keeping staff on the front line at Alder Hey Hospital is entirely dependent on a fast, accurate system of testing – not just for Covid-19 but for all respiratory viruses; and not just for patients but, just as importantly, for staff and those who live with them.
At Alder Hey, a world-class paediatric centre where instant treatment is so often a life-saver, speed is vital. Now, thanks to the generosity of the donors to our Mail Force campaign, the testing process is about to get a lot faster following the acquisition of £260,000 of new testing equipment which is due to arrive within weeks.
It will more than double the hospital’s existing testing capacity overnight.
‘It really will make a difference to the care of all our patients,’ says Alder Hey’s Dr Beatriz Larru Martinez, a specialist in paediatric infectious diseases.
‘At this time of year, in particular, it’s very difficult to distinguish between Covid and other illnesses in children but it is crucial that we do. Without that information, we don’t even know who can go in which bed.’
This equipment does not just test for Covid but for a whole menu of respiratory illnesses – from various types of influenza to whooping cough.
As well as upgrading and expanding the hospital’s existing testing systems, Mail Force is providing Alder Hey with five portable air purification machines for use across three different units.
The threat of infection means treatment rooms must stand empty for up to an hour after each consultation to minimise the risk of virus lingering in the air. These new machines, costing a total of £30,000, will slash those clearance times to minutes, allowing many more staff to see many more patients.
In short, Mail Force is helping a leading hospital ensure that its staff are not just safer but that they can see more sick children.