NHS Headley Court Hospital, Surrey – ready for COVID-19 rehab

To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to keep caring for the people who need us, health and social care organisations across Surrey Heartlands have worked together to transform a disused military hospital into an inpatient rehabilitation capacity for all of Surrey.

In these unprecedented and challenging times, teams across Surrey Heartlands (including Surrey County Council, the military and the NHS) have been working incredibly hard to protect and care for the public and create urgent capacity in our health and social care system, resulting in NHS Headley Court Hospital, Surrey. This is a facility with up to 300 beds that will help us to care for and support patients who are recovering from COVID-19 and who no longer need care in an acute hospital, or those who have COVID and can no longer cope with their symptoms at home.

Work to create the temporary hospital on the former Ministry of Defence Headley Court site has been moving at pace, and is set to open from Monday 4 May (subject to the needs of patients locally). NHS Headley Court Hospital, Surrey is in the catchment of Surrey Downs Health and Care (a joint venture to provided integrated joined up care for older people). It is hosted by Epsom and St Helier hospitals and the partnership is made up of the local GP practices, CSH Surrey, Surrey County Council and the hospitals. Surrey Downs Health and Care will be responsible for the facilities and care provided there.

Chief Executive of Epsom and St Helier, Daniel Elkeles, said: “Over the past three weeks, this empty facility has been completely transformed – working closely with the army, the county council, and health and social care teams, we have been able to redesign the use of these disused buildings, create new access roads, re-plumb the water system and re-install electricity supplies. This has taken a huge amount of planning and hard work from multiple teams, but we are determined to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure our patients have the very best chance of recovery.

“The site is a hive of activity still, but to see this rehabilitation centre come together is fantastic. It is an amazing facility, and the parts of the site that we will be using were all built to a high specification mostly over the last 10-30 years. The site is very open and there is plenty of green space and light to provide a high quality rehabilitation environment.”

Leader of Surrey County Council, and Chair of the Surrey Heartlands Partnership Tim Oliver said: “This week I had the chance to see first-hand the fantastic facilities being pulled together at Headley Court and it’s impressive. To have got the facility to this stage in a little under a month is a remarkable achievement.

“Going forward it will provide patients with the much needed support they need while taking the pressure off vital services in our hospitals.”

Senior Responsible Officer for Surrey Heartlands, Dr Claire Fuller, said:  “I would like to add my thanks to everyone involved in getting this up and running. I have been truly humbled by the fantastic work and collaboration from colleagues right across our partnership in the face of this virus; from staff working flat out on the frontline, the support workers behind the scenes who are keeping things going, to the determination of people to make seemingly impossible things happen.”

Daniel added: “Ensuring we have the right staff for this new facility, which will potentially provide care to hundreds of people at any one time, is vital. We are recruiting to a number of positions, so if you think you would like to help and are ready for your next challenge, please visit the Epsom and St Helier website and search jobs. Alternatively, you can follow this link.

“On behalf of our patients and staff, I would like to say a huge thank you to Tony Williamson of Angle Properties for allowing us to use this facility and undertake such significant work on the site.”

Temporary Closure of Church Lane

SES Water have advised us that Church Lane will be closed between Leech Lane and Broome Close on Thursday 23rd April until the evening of Friday 24th April to carry out emergency works. The diversion routes used during the mains renewal work will apply.

Statement from Councillor Stephen Cooksey

Leader of Mole Valley District Council, Councillor Stephen Cooksey said, “Thank you to everybody who stayed at home over the Easter weekend and helped to protect the NHS, frontline staff and our families.

“We have many incredible people across our district who generously offer their time to help those most in need. I fully appreciate that not everyone can offer their time to volunteer during this period and some residents have asked how they can help financially. The Surrey Matters Website provides useful advice on various funds set up to help relief efforts in Surrey.

“Staying continuously at home can prove very challenging, especially to survivors of domestic abuse. The refuge network in Surrey is working hard to keep women and their children safe and can be accessed through the Your Sanctuary helpline on 0808 2000 247.

“It’s worth mentioning that there is a lot of misinformation being shared about coronavirus. Fraudsters can make contact at the door, by phone, post or online. To make sure residents can always access correct and up to date information, Surrey County Council has created a web page with links to official information. It’s definitely worth visiting.

“We continue to support Mole Valley businesses and there are still about 500 business grants to claim.

We have paid over 700 grants totalling £9.5 million to local businesses so far.

“Please check our business support page for the latest information.

A new Coronavirus Business Support Hub bringing together key information for businesses as well as information for self-employed people and sole traders is now available.

“Mole Valley Chamber is taking its popular networking breakfasts online and will answer any business-related questions on 16 April from 9.30am to 11am.

“Life is currently very different, but we haven’t stopped supporting the arts and young local talent. Our ever-popular Youth Showcase Awards will have its finale online in April and the date will be confirmed soon. We can’t wait to celebrate the amazing achievements of over 100 young people who live or go to school in the district.

“Despite Dorking Halls being closed for performances, it’s still very active in the community. Last week we launched a social media competition for local musicians and vocalists. The winners will be invited to perform at the venue when it reopens.

“Finally, I would like to confirm that we’re doing everything we can to keep bin collections running as normal during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some things that you can do to help us running the service smoothly.

“Thank you for your continued support and understanding.”

Easter Weekend Message from Surrey Police

Surrey Police Chief Constable Gavin Stephens has thanked the residents of Surrey ahead of the long bank holiday weekend as we continue to remind people to stay indoors to save people’s lives during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Chief Constable said: “In these unprecedented times I’m grateful for the public’s support.

“The majority of people in Surrey have been doing their bit over the past few weeks and I would urge them to continue to adhere to the Government’s social distancing guidelines over the four day Easter weekend.

“We are continuing with the national policing advice to engage, explain and encourage members of the public to stay home. Enforcement is always a last resort but will be used where necessary.

“Please: Stay at home; protect the NHS, and save lives”.

Deputy Chief Constable Nev Kemp added that police are “well resourced” and will be on patrol in urban and rural communities to reassure and support over the Easter break.

DCC Kemp said: “The current face of crime is changing, overall demand into us is down but we are mindful that much is now hidden and less visible to us. Based on patterns from other countries, who are further ahead than us in dealing with this pandemic, we expect to see increases on certain crime types, including fraud and domestic abuse.

“We continue to work with support services to ensure that we are able to respond and support people if they call and need help. We encourage anyone who may be a victim, or who may have concerns about a loved one who may be vulnerable to these hidden crimes, to contact us and we will be there”.

Since the lockdown began the support from the people of Surrey has been incredible and is a boost to officers and staff who are on the front line putting themselves in harm’s way.

However there are a minority of people who continue to flout the guidance for their own benefit. Over the last two weeks there has been an increase in cases of anti-social behaviour, reports of people claiming to have the coronavirus, spitting or coughing at officers and with the reduced amount of cars on the roads – vehicles travelling in excess of the speed limit. Roads policing units will continue to disrupt this and any other criminality.

With more officers, including Special Constables, redeployed to visible policing, as well as additional PCSOs, communities will continue to see a reassuring presence over the weekend.

Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro said: “It is as important as ever that residents follow the Government advice and stay at home this bank holiday weekend. I want to thank the vast majority of Surrey residents who are following this advice – doing your bit will save lives”.

Under government regulations, you should only leave the house for very limited purposes:

• Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
• One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
• Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
• Travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home

Box Hill Zig Zag Road Closure for the Easter Weekend

No doubt you will have seen or heard about numbers of visitors parking on our roadsides and congregating on Box Hill last weekend. Whilst they weren’t huge numbers, we are doing what we can to help the Police dissuade such activities.

For your information, we have official Traffic Regulation Orders on the public highway from Old London Road to our private road at the bottom of the Zig Zag Road. Similarly, at the top of our road we have a TRO on the public highway to the edge of Box Hill village, near the Smith and Western.

On Friday morning there will be road closed signage installed to dissuade recreational visitors.

With Police support, signage and cones in the road, we are hoping potential visitors will be dissuaded from visiting.

Many thanks for your support.

Andrew Wright
Countryside Manager

Surrey Hills – East

Church Lane Nursery – Tree Removal

Some residents may have noticed that a large oak tree was felled last week on the Church Lane Nursery site.

The tree was not subject to a Tree Protection Order and we have checked with Mole Valley’s Tree Officer who confirms that the felling was undertaken following a survey which identified a root fungus which made it a hazard.

Based on its size the tree was probably about 200 years old.

Headley Court to serve as a temporary community hospital for Surrey Heartlands

Partners across Surrey are working together to plan and manage our response to the growing coronavirus pandemic. Part of this response has been to develop plans for an additional community-style hospital to deal with increasing patient numbers as this situation develops.

Headley Court will now re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital.

Senior Responsible Officer for Surrey Heartlands, Dr Claire Fuller, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all partners who are involved in getting this facility up and running as quickly as possible. This represents a fantastic example of the cross-collaboration between public and private sector partners across Surrey, and the willingness of people to work together in the face of an unprecedented public health emergency.”

With a peak in numbers expected during April, a senior team has been scoping potential solutions in Surrey to provide additional capacity which could relieve pressure on our bigger, acute hospitals and community teams during the weeks and months ahead.

The facility, based in Leatherhead, will provide non-critical care to patients including:

  • step-down from acute hospitals
  • rehabilitation/convalescence
  • those receiving end of life care
  • patients who are recovering from Covid-19 who don’t require critical care or acute hospital care

A cross-partner team from across the NHS, Surrey County Council and the military is working hard to get the facility up and running quickly and we anticipate ward areas being ready to receive patients later this month.

Leader of Surrey County Council, and Chair of the Surrey Heartlands Partnership Tim Oliver said: “The collaboration demonstrated through this project, and our wider response to the current situation, has been remarkable. We will get through this together, thanks to the hard work of our frontline workers and the great willingness on the part of all our staff who are doing the most remarkable job in the most challenging conditions.”

The Headley Court facility, which previously provided rehabilitation care to military personnel before it closed in September 2017, is already configured with ward space and other clinical areas making it ideal to be quickly converted for use as a community hospital.

Karen Thorburn, who has been leading this part of the project on behalf of the local NHS added: “We would like to say a particular thank you to Tony Williamson of Angle Property, the current land owner of Headley Court, for his willingness to work with us on this project, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.”

 

Headley Parish Council supports this use of Headley Court. Many local residents are proud of Headley Court’s long history of supporting the military in their time of crisis and we are equally proud that the facilities are being used to help out in the current situation.  We are pleased that Angle Property have agreed to make the site available.

 

A further update for local residents from MVDC:

We would like to reassure residents that there is minimal risk to local people’s health from the temporary facility being set up at Headley Court.  This community-style facility is intended for non-acute patients only.  This means that the sickest patients will still be treated in the bigger, acute hospitals, so for patients in this area that would still be at Epsom Hospital.

Instead, the Headley Court facility will be providing non-critical care to patients, i.e. those who still need to be in hospital but who don’t need emergency or life-saving care.  Some of these patients will be recovering from Covid-19, and sadly some patients may be at the end of their life, either from Covid-19 or other illnesses.   

Any patients still suffering from Covid-19 will continue their treatment following all of the relevant clinical guidance with staff treating them protected with the appropriate PPE (personal protection equipment).

We are expecting some staff to be living on site; other staff will need to travel to and from the site, either using their own transport or by shuttle bus.  Again this poses minimal risk to local people particularly as the facility is self-contained on a large site.

It is really important during this time of national difficulty that we work together and allow the NHS to get on with the important job of treating and caring for patients in the most appropriate way.  This facility has been set up to relieve pressure on our larger hospitals; it is not a Nightingale style hospital and will only look after people who don’t require care in an acute hospital.

The facility has been very carefully planned through a joint partnership between the NHS, Surrey County Council, Mole Valley District Council and military planners, using the expertise of all involved.  Next week the facility will be handed over to Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust who will be responsible for running the unit and for all its clinical governance and safety procedures.

We hope this gives you assurance around the questions you have raised.