Hospital’s new £4m Covid unit not used for coronavirus patients

Images of the negative pressure isolation ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Pictu

Images of the negative pressure isolation ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: ModuleCo - Credit: Archant

A multi-million pound building for a hospital’s sickest Covid patients is not treating coronavirus victims.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital opened up the “negative pressure isolation unit” last year. It said it was equipped with the latest technology to treat the most ill Covid patients in the region.

Built next to the out-patients block it has nine beds and is “highly specialised”, the hospital said, to contain airborne contaminants within the room.

Images of the negative pressure isolation ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Pictu

Images of the negative pressure isolation ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: ModuleCo - Credit: Archant

But a source said that because every patient on the unit needed their own nurse, staff shortages meant it was empty of coronavirus patients.

See also: Senior staff member lifts lid on 'desperate' situation at NNUH

They said each patient would need round the clock care from at least one nurse who then would not be able to treat anyone else. 

Images of the negative pressure isolation ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Pictu

Images of the negative pressure isolation ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: ModuleCo - Credit: Archant

The hospital confirmed that it was being used instead to treat rheumatology patients who were high risk but do not have Covid.

The NNUH has put out an appeal for staff and volunteers to help it cope with huge demand from coronavirus patients. Email recruitment@nnuh.nhs.uk

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