WHITCHURCH Community Hospital will soon have an increased contingent of medical staff, as well as working towards seven day cover.

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust is strengthening medical cover at this time to ensure that it is fully prepared for any impact of COVID-19 in the county's community hospitals – though no confirmed cases of the virus have yet occurred at any of the four community hospitals.

Dr Jane Povey, medical director of Shropshire Community Health, said the move had already taken place at two hospitals, and will soon be expanded to all four.

"We have taken the decision to work towards introducing seven days a week medical cover across all of our community hospitals," said Dr Povey.

"We already have this in place at two of the hospitals and are now expanding this across all four.

"This is being overseen by our community hospital medical advisors Dr Caron Morton, Dr Adrian Penney and Dr Stuart Wright."

Meanwhile, the Trust has also provided reassurance that it has enough personal protective equipment (PPE) available for staff to work safely.

Steve Gregory, executive director of nursing and operations at Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, said: "We have seen regular supplies of PPE arriving in recent days.

"We are confident that we currently have the PPE we need to ensure all our staff can work safely.

"Our staff are fully compliant with the national guidelines from Public Health England with respect to the appropriate use of equipment, and we will make sure they remain so to protect themselves and their patients."