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Coronavirus Kent: Temporary hospitals could open across the county amid Covid-19 pandemic


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Health chiefs say they are examining options for temporary hospitals to be opened across Kent to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Despite this, no sites have yet been identified.

Talks are ongoing, but no sites have yet been decided on
Talks are ongoing, but no sites have yet been decided on

Wilf Williams is the accountable officer at NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for planning and buying NHS services, and will be formally established on 1 April 2020.

He said: "All hospitals are making temporary changes to the way they run, to enable us to prepare for the surge in cases that we know is coming.

"We are also looking at a number of sites across Kent and Medway that could potentially be used as temporary hospitals which would be separate from existing hospital sites.

"The NHS across Kent and Medway is working as one to respond to Covid-19. Everyone is focused on helping those on the frontline to deliver the best possible patient care and save lives."

According to Mr Williams, there are no plans for any of the county's existing hospitals to be used solely for coronavirus patients.

"We are looking at a number of sites across Kent and Medway that could potentially be used as temporary hospitals..."

He said: "At this point we are not planning for Medway Maritime Hospital, or any other hospital, to become solely focused on Covid-19 patients.

"We are freeing up beds across all our hospitals, bringing in more staff and ventilators, getting protective equipment to where it is needed and increasing testing."

"All of our hospitals will have increased the amount of critical care beds by the end of this week; medically fit patients have been discharged and will be provided with support in their own homes or in care homes; non-urgent surgery is being postponed; and outpatient appointments will be conducted remotely when possible."

Mr Williams added that GP surgeries are carrying out many of their consultations via phone or video calls to make sure patients were still getting the support they needed.

He said: "Some Primary Care Networks – which are groups of surgeries in the same area working together – are also splitting patient care across different sites, meaning some will see patients with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 and other sites will aim to remain virus free.

"We would also urge the public to help the NHS as much as possible by following official expert guidance and staying at home as much as possible."

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

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