Social beds will free up hospitals

Just Regional
Apr 21, 2020 2 mins read

A former care home has been earmarked for “scores” of social care beds which could be used to free up hospital capacity during the covid-19 crisis.

Norfolk County Council and the NHS are working together to prepare the former Cawston Lodge care home on Paul Engelhard Way, Cawston, for this task.

Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “In order for the NHS to keep functioning in the face of covid-19, we need to keep hospital beds clear for those in the greatest need, with more people receiving care elsewhere instead.  

“By opening up many new beds within weeks, this ambitious project can take the pressure off our hospitals and make sure they can care for those who need them most.”

Cath Byford, chief nurse with NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We’ve seen a brilliant response to the challenge of covid-19 from across the health and social care community, and we’re working in partnership to secure these additional beds. We hope we don’t need to use them but we’re taking sensible steps to make sure we have capacity.”

The former Cawston Lodge care home.

The new site is being prepared so that, if required, it can receive people discharged from hospital in the weeks and months ahead. The unit would offer care to those who needed it with a minimal impact on the local community.

The building had been empty for several years but was reopened for a short time as a care home last year, before closing after just six months.

While all people cared for at Cawston would be medically fit enough to be discharged from hospital, they may include some patients recovering from covid-19 whose symptoms were not severe. These patients would be cared for with compassion and strict standards of hygiene and safety, to ensure the wellbeing of other residents and staff.

The work follows investigation of a number of sites that might be suitable to provide temporary care beds during this crisis. The site in Cawston has been identified as one of the sites best suited to this work.

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