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The NHS Seacole Centre at Headley Court, Surrey in the UK has opened to provide rehabilitation care for patients recovering from Covid-19 in the region.
Said to be first-of-its-kind in England, the facility will offer temporary service for recovering patients who no longer require acute hospital care, as well as for people who cannot cope with their symptoms at home.
The NHS Seacole Centre, which used to be a disused military hospital, was transformed in 35 days with efforts from multiple teams, including the NHS, Surrey County Council and St Helier University Hospitals.
NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said: “While our country is now emerging from the initial peak of coronavirus, we’re now seeing a substantial new need for rehab and aftercare for Covid patients who’ve come through this terrible illness.
“So the next phase of the health service’s coronavirus response will mean expanding and strengthening community health and care services in new ways, such as these new Seacole Centres.”
Over the past three months, NHS hospitals delivered inpatient and critical care for more than 90,000 Covid-19 patients. The new facility is intended to help patients recover from the disease and return home safely.
The facility will include specialist staff such as doctors, nurses, mental health staff, pharmacists, physios, occupational therapists and psychologists, among others.
More than 100 staff members have been recruited to work at the NHS Seacole Centre. Initially, the plan is to open 130 patient beds, with capacity for up to 300, if required.
NHS Seacole Centre clinical director Dr Hilary Floyd said: “Covid has been cruel to so many and we see the NHS Seacole Centre as a place of recovery where those who need more care before they go home can receive this through an integrated, holistic, multi-disciplinary team approach.”
The NHS is working to deliver services within its existing facilities, but plans may include temporary facilities such as Seacole Centres, based on necessity.