Hospice beds could be used for hospital patients as COVID cases surge
- Credit: PA
Along with the announcement that Lister Hospital in Stevenage will accommodate a new Nightingale hub to deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases, it was also said that hospice beds would be used for hospital patients.
On Thursday, it was announced that a Nightingale hub would be set up at Lister - and at seven other sites: Royal Preston Hospital, St James’ University Hospital in Leeds, St George’s Hospital in London, The William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent, North Bristol Hospital, and Solihull Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham and University Hospitals Leicester.
Further sites could also be identified to add a further 4,000 'super surge' beds.
Health secretary Sajid Javid also said that hospitals are using hotels, hospices and care homes to safely discharge as many people who are medically fit to leave as possible – freeing up beds for those who need them most.
He added: “We hope the Nightingale surge hubs at hospitals will not have to be used but it is absolutely right that we prepare for all scenarios and increase capacity.”
Arthur Rank Hospice in Shelford Bottom - which takes patients from North Herts and South Cambs - said they are currently 'in discussions' to provide support.
Sara Robins, director of clinical services said: ‘We’re currently in discussions with our system partners and looking at how the charity can support our community, as we have throughout the pandemic".
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Sue Plummer, CEO at Letchworth-based Garden House Hospice Care, said: “We have supported the Lister Hospital and local NHS Trusts since the beginning of the pandemic and continue to do so.
"The safety of our patients, staff and visitors remains our utmost priority and we are following all government and NHS England guidance to ensure our charitable services at the hospice and out in the community remain safe and open to local people who need our support 365 days a year.
“We are currently looking at ways to increase bed capacity on our Inpatient Unit this January.
"The new year can be a difficult time for many and we encourage our community to reach out for our support over the coming months.
"To find out more about our free services in your local area, visit our website www.ghhospicecare.org.uk.”