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Scores of new care beds to get people out of Norfolk’s hospitals during coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 15:27 20 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:27 20 April 2020

The former Cawston Lodge care home is to be turned into temporary beds for people discharged from Norfolk's hospitals. Pic:  Archant.

The former Cawston Lodge care home is to be turned into temporary beds for people discharged from Norfolk's hospitals. Pic: Archant.

Archant

Scores more care beds could be created in Norfolk to get people, including those who have had coronavirus, out of Norfolk’s hospitals to free up desperately needed NHS hospital beds.

Bill Borrett, cabinet member for adult social care at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.Bill Borrett, cabinet member for adult social care at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Up to 40 temporary beds could be created in the former Cawston Lodge care home in north Norfolk, to support people discharged from hospital.

Norfolk County Council and the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working to get the beds ready in case they are needed in the weeks and months ahead, with cases of coronavirus continuing.

They have identified the former care home in Paul Englehard Way, Cawston, which closed last year after just six months, as a site for extra beds.

The extra social care beds, funded through the NHS, would be used by people, including some who have had coronavirus, after they are deemed well enough to leave hospital, but still need extra support before they can go back home.

Health bosses say those recovering from Covid-19, whose symptoms are not severe, would be cared for with compassion and strict standards of hygiene and safety, to ensure the wellbeing of other residents and staff.

Cath Byford, chief nurse with NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG, 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.”

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.”

The work follows investigation of a number of sites that might be suitable to provide temporary care beds during the pandemic.

The Cawston site could be up and running by the end of the month, but further sites could be needed to ease pressure on hospitals.

Cawston Lodge opened in May last year with rooms for 36 residents, but the county council terminated its contract with JNS Care Holdings after just six months because of concerns over the quality of service.

Residents were moved out and it has stood empty since.

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