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.”