HSJ Exclusive: Mass expansion of rehab beds for covid planned

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  • Health systems in the North West have been asked to prepare plans for up to 900 community-based beds
  • Beds would be dispersed across multiple localities, and could be similar to the Seacole model introduced in Surrey
  • If repeated nationally — as is likely — it could mean more than 6,000 rehab beds being created by winter
  • “Unsuitable” Nightingale Hospital has been mothballed after treating just over 100 patients

The NHS in the North West has been asked to prepare plans for up to 900 community-based beds for patients recovering from coronavirus and respiratory illnesses – as the “unsuitable” Nightingale Hospital has been mothballed.

Several senior sources in the region said NHS England’s regional directorate wanted leaders to make suggestions for how the beds – which would follow the “Seacole” model being used in Surrey — could be provided by the end of the autumn months.

It may be an indication of a likely national plan to expand bed capacity across England ahead of a possible second peak of covid-19 demand in the winter. Crudely, if the 900 figure was repeated in other regions, it may amount to more than 6,000 additional beds England-wide.

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Source: HSJ