Hospital converts canteen, gym and car park into temporary wards as Covid surges

A hospital is converting its staff canteen, fitness room and parking lot into makeshift stations to cope with the increase in Covid patients.

The Royal Preston Hospital is installing 50 beds in the staff canteen and the physio-fitness studio as well as a Nightingale unit with 100 additional beds in the parking lot.

Eight Nightingale units are being built across the country to handle the surge in people falling seriously ill with the Omicron variant of Covid 19.

24 hospital trusts have reported a critical incident, so they are on high alert and under extreme pressure.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said it closed its Charters canteen “to allow us to prepare the room for potential patient use if the Omicron variant requires extra extra beds.”

It added, “We are also looking at other potential spaces, including our physio-gyms, and in total around 50 beds could be created using such spaces.”

The Department of Defense announced that 200 military personnel will be deployed to aid the NHS in London.

Expected to be on duty for three weeks, they were deployed as 40 teams of five, each consisting of a paramedic and four employees for general tasks.

At a board meeting of the University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHMN) NHS Trust, it was found that a “critical incident” should be reported within days.

Today, new data confirmed that the North West and North East, along with hotspots in the Midlands and Wales, are now the largest regional outbreaks in England.

The Royal Stoke and County Hospital in Stafford has a 30% staff shortage and around 20 polls are canceled every day.

The Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust in the East Midlands said it operates at 100% bed occupancy.

Yesterday, 179,756 more positive tests and 231 more Covid deaths were reported within 28 days of a positive test.

Latest test monitoring data from the UK Health Safety Authority showed that Covid rates are now highest in the North West, followed by the North East.

Four hospital trusts – Co Durham and Darlington, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland, and North Tees and Hartlepool – have all suspended hospital visits.

Colin Cox, Cumbria Director of Public Health, said: “It is easy that North Cumbria will declare Level 4, which is the highest level.

“This is due to personnel problems and increased demand.”

At least 17 hospitals across the Northwest have suspended non-urgent treatments and surgeries due to rising Omicron cases and staff absences.

Cases are increasing rapidly in parts of the Midlands, Wales and northern England, and are also increasing in older age groups.

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