• Community hospitals in Staffordshire to be reopened and used for covid-19 beds
  • Trust will be using additional beds to “avoid” sending patients and staff to Birmingham’s Nightingale hospital

Community hospitals in Staffordshire will be reopened and used as covid-19 beds in an effort to avoid a local acute trust sending patients — and staff — to Birmingham’s Nightingale hospital. 

University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust will be using four community hospitals run by Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust. Three of these, which have a combined 132 beds, had previously been closed by commissioners as part of plans to repurpose the sites as health hubs. 

The trust said in a statement: “UHNM is working with health and social care partners to set up an extension of its hospital care provision to manage its covid-19 response within hospitals across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, avoiding the need for staff and patients to travel to the Birmingham Nightingale Hospital at the NEC. 

”A significant number of beds are likely to be used during the coming weeks providing covid-19 services, that would usually be provided at UHNM, but because of the expected increase in demand, will be cared for at Haywood Hospital, Harplands, Bradwell, Cheadle and Leek Hospitals. Other facilities may be brought on line if required.”

Plans to reduce community beds in Staffordshire from 264 to 132 faced public opposition and were referred to the health secretary’s independent reconfiguration panel.

However, after receiving the green light, commissioners approved the plans in January