• Barts hospital to be used as London’s emergency electives centre
  • All local systems working on reconfiguring services to cope with covid-19 surge
  • Some hospitals could be used exclusively for coronavirus patients

St Bartholomew’s Hospital is to be the emergency electives centre for the London region as part of a major reorganisation to cope with the coronavirus outbreak, HSJ understands.

Senior sources told HSJ the London tertiary hospital, which is run by Barts Health Trust, will be a “clean” site providing emergency elective care as part of the capital’s covid-19 plan.

It is understood the specialist Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Trust will also be taking some emergency cardiac patients.

The news follows NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens telling MPs on Tuesday that all systems were working out how best to optimise resources and some hospitals could be used to exclusively treat coronavirus patients in the coming months.

Sir Simon told the health and social care committee trusts were carrying out a “stress test” exercise this week to determine which hospitals would be used for what across the system.

Sir Simon said: “At the height of the epidemic here, it is likely that every NHS hospital will be looking after coronavirus patients, and it is possible some hospitals will almost exclusively be looking after coronavirus patients.

“There are some places we may choose to deploy, frankly, the entirety of the hospital for coronavirus patients.”

NHS England’s London team, the Royal Brompton and Barts Health all declined to comment.