DETAILS of how Bolton is preparing for a second wave of coronavirus infections to sweep through the borough have been revealed.

Fiona Noden, chief executive of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, detailed the measures be taken for the second wave at a meeting of the Health Overview Scrutiny Committee, where Bolton's response to the pandemic was examined by Town Hall chiefs.

This includes improving the hospital's intensive care unit ­— and the biggest ever roll out of the flu vaccination programme seen in Bolton.

The Bolton News:

(Fiona Noden)

She told the committee: "We are very much planning for a second wave, we have seen with the recent restrictions in Bolton and Greater Manchester that there is a second wave and how do we best prepare for it.

"We will have to be agile enough to work differently again, but we have got good learning from the first wave, we are better prepared and much more knowledgeable, we have got consistent deliveries of PPE.

"We have got good systems and processes both in the hospital and across the Bolton system."

Fiona said: "We are currently upgrading ICU to make sure that it is safe for the second wave so it will become a critical care unit, we have got safe oxygen capacity, which has been a significant problem in the first wave and we have learned a lot from that."

More support was being put in place for staff on the frontline in tackling the pandemic.

"We have made sure we have psychological support for our staff," said Fiona,“Our staff have seen some really difficult things, have had to deal with some very difficult occasions and we have made sure our staff are supported."

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The flu vaccination programme will also form part of plans to cope with a second wave.

Fiona said: "We are planing the largest flu campaign that we have ever experienced to make sure that our patients, our staff and our communities are safe and are able to cope with a further potential second wave."

Director of public health, Helen Lowey said that work was now being done on how to rollout the programme together with ensuring the right message were being communicated to ensure a good uptake of the vaccine, particularly among those who have not been included before.

She said that Public Health is now working to put the programme in place.