NHS chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, said: “As our first group of guests leaves Arrowe Park Hospital, we want to thank them for the highly responsible, pragmatic and stoical way they have played their part in keeping both themselves and others safe. They have set an important example, recognising that over the coming weeks many more of us may need to self-isolate at home for a period to reduce this virus’s spread.
“I particularly also want to thank all the NHS staff who have worked so hard to make their stay as safe and comfortable as possible. With about 72 hours notice they and subsequently their colleagues in Milton Keynes have mobilised clinical teams, personal support and pastoral care to look after over two hundred people returning to this country under extremely trying circumstances. They have been hugely helped by the volunteers, residents, schools and those from local councils.
“While the NHS steps up, everyone can continue to play their part by taking simple steps such as washing hands to prevent the spread of infection and calling NHS 111 first before going to the doctors or A&E if they have any concerns about or show symptoms of the virus.”