The NHS explains how they are here for patients in Hertfordshire during COVID-19

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 July 2020

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust medical director Mike Chilvers. Picture: East and North Herts NHS Trust

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust medical director Mike Chilvers. Picture: East and North Herts NHS Trust


Dr Michael Chilvers, medical director for East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, talks about the picture on the ground in the first of a series of monthly Hertfordshire health columns.

Firsts are often difficult. It can mean dealing with the unknown, or taking you out of your comfort zone.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a first for so many of us – a virus which has affected every aspect of life, on a scale that has not been seen in my lifetime. The NHS and social care have been at the centre of the response, and both have been presented with a massive challenge.

We had to very quickly change the way we provide services here at the hospital trust, temporarily stopping some services to keep our patients safe. Thank you for your patience with these changes, and your ongoing support – it means so much to know our community is behind us.

You may also want to watch:

But, while firsts are difficult, they also offer opportunities – to learn, improve and innovate. It has been fantastic to see the use of technology to not only help us to carry out services such as online consultations, but also to keep patients in touch with loved ones, while visiting is suspended.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 peaked locally in April, and there has been a significant drop in cases over the last few weeks. This has enabled us to restart services, and we are doing this carefully.

If you have attended one of our hospitals – Hertford County, the Lister in Stevenage, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood or the New QEII in Welwyn Garden City – you will have seen the additional measures in place to keep you safe as more people receive treatment.

We know that many people have been anxious about visiting a hospital during the pandemic. I’d like to reassure you that it’s safe to attend – if you have an appointment with us, if you are booked in for treatment, or if you need to be seen in an emergency. Please don’t delay in seeking help if you need urgent medical care.

There will be more firsts to come but, with your incredible support, we are ready to meet the challenge head on.

The NHS trust wants you to be part of the conversation and is hosting daily online webinars between July 13-17 on topics voted for by the public – instead of hosting a one-off annual general meeting. To find out more visit

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Comet. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the The Comet