New Royal Liverpool Hospital opens for Covid-19 patients

5th May 2020

Part of Liverpool City Region’s new 646-bed Royal Hospital scheme will open to provide care for patients recovering from the virus.

The temporary Covid-19 facility, constructed by Laing O’Rourke, has capacity for 65 patients in what will become the acute medical care unit once the hospital is completed.

The wider hospital rebuild is intended to replace the existing buildings and create one of the largest emergency departments in the North West of England.

Laing O’Rourke has finished what they’re calling a ‘step-down’ unit at the site which will help patients recover from covid-19 and other conditions.It has been built in what will become the Acute Medical Unit for the new Royal.

The unit, consisting totally of single-bedded rooms, is a major boost to the city’s health and social care response to Covid-19, and will also be the first clinical activity to be provided in the new Royal building.

Therapy, nursing and medical staff will help patients, most of whom will be older people, recover their independence by building up their mobility and their ability to undertake routine daily tasks before they are safely discharged.

It will be able to care for up to 65 patients with 25 patients due to be transferred there from the existing Royal and Aintree University Hospital next week. It will have 130 staff, including physiotherapists and occupational therapists, plus healthcare assistants, nurses and doctors.

Steve Warburton, chief executive of Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our new step-down unit is an excellent additional resource to help our city give patients the best possible recovery and discharge.

“As part of our early pandemic planning, we considered the potential to make part of the Acute Medical Unit in the new Royal into an operational area. At that stage, we had to consider situations including overwhelming numbers of patients needing admission to our main hospitals.

“THANKFULLY, THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE REGION’S RESIDENTS HAVE STAYED AT HOME AND SUPPORTED SOCIAL DISTANCING, SO WE HAVE FLATTENED THE CURVE OF CASES. OUR INCREDIBLE STAFF HAVE HAD TO WORK VERY HARD, UNDER GREAT PRESSURE, TO CARE FOR MANY VERY SICK PATIENTS, BUT WE HAVE NEVER HAD TO USE OUR FULL CAPACITY.

“That’s why we will now be able to use this unit to support patients in their recovery in single rooms, with benefits for them including greater peace and quiet.

He added: “Our construction partners and suppliers have worked quickly to create this fantastic facility, but equally our staff have demonstrated their ingenuity and innovation to plan the way in which they’ll give our patients the best possible care. It’s an amazing achievement to have created this unit in such a short time, and we’re very grateful to everyone involved.”

For more information on Liverpool City Region’s new Royal Liverpool Hospital visit rlbuht.nhs.uk

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Alice Lamb
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