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.