Community hospital to deal with increase in coronavirus cases

Brentwood Community Hospital is being expanded to help cope with the increased number of coronavirus patients.

The hospital was built under a PFI deal and opened in 2008, with two wards of 25 beds each for the rehabilitation of adult patients.

However, it is now set to be used to treat coronavirus patients as numbers continue to rise.

Remodelling of the layout of the hospital has been undertaken by members of the Territorial Army and fire and rescue service.

There are now over 1,000 cases of coronavirus in Essex, according to the latest Department of Health and Social Care statistics.

As the UK has entered its third week of lockdown, the country remains under strict instruction not to leave our homes unless absolutely necessary.

So far, across the UK 6,227 people have now died after testing positive for Covid-19.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Essex now sits at 1,096.

Systems are already being put in place for adult social care services to help take over the care of those patients who can be transferred out of hospital beds.

Essex County Council (ECC) is agreeing additional funding of £7.4million for adult social care to secure 297 beds in two hotels for temporary use as community beds, to support discharge from hospitals in Essex.

It follows a previous urgent decision which authorised ECC to secure 1,200 beds at a cost of £18.6 million.

This previous decision assumed an initial baseline need of 300 beds, rising to the full 1,200 for a limited period.

However, ECC has determined it is necessary to buy beds at a faster rate than previously forecast.

A spokesperson for mid and south Essex CCGs said: “In order to be able to treat and support the number of patients affected by coronavirus, we are expanding capacity at Brentwood Community Hospital and Braintree Community Hospital.

“Both sites are modern buildings that can easily be adapted to treat the increased number of patients.

“We are grateful for the assistance we have had from the Territorial Army and the fire brigade to make the necessary changes to the buildings.”

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter