Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive, said: “We can now confirm that sadly, four patients aged 47-80 have passed away at Royal Derby Hospital. They had tested positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patients' family and loved ones at this difficult time.
“These are unprecedented times for all our communities and across our hospitals in Derby, Burton, Lichfield and Tamworth our people are working in extraordinary ways to meet the challenge we face together.
“I want to say thank you to each and every member of our team for their hard work, commitment and dedication over the past couple of weeks.
“What they’ve done in such a short space of time to prepare is incredible. Everyone has pulled together and gone more than the extra mile or two. This camaraderie has captured the hearts of the communities we serve and we’ve been inundated with generous offers of support. On behalf of our teams I want to tell the public that their support means everything to us.
“Our values of compassion, excellence and openness have come to the fore like never before – our frontline clinical colleagues have been amazing as have the often unsung heroes in supporting roles like our porters, cleaners, supplies and estates teams – all have been incredible. Many of my colleagues working in non-clinical areas, for example our administrative staff, have stepped forward for training so they can assist with patients on the wards when needed.
“I want to assure all of our patients and their families that we are leaving no stone unturned as we plan for the difficult weeks and months ahead, and that we have robust plans in place and we know we can count on their support should it be needed.
“This will see some changes in the way we deliver some of our services to ensure we have the staff and capacity for all who will need our care in the coming weeks.
"These decisions will not be made lightly and we will keep our patients and our communities fully updated.
“However, our ability to meet the expected demand is to a large part dependant on how well the public heeds the message to isolate. So help the NHS – stay home, save lives.”
“There will no doubt be difficult days ahead, but the tireless dedication of our people and the support of the public will help us to get through this.”