The Homerton Hospital in Hackney is working flat out to increase its number of intensive care beds, with plans in place to “eventually” offer around 50, according to its chief nurse.
Catherine Pelley, chief nurse and director of governance, said the Homerton currently has about 27 patients in its intensive treatment unit (ITU), with an expectation that ventilators and equipment “will start arriving” for more places to be set up.
Ms Pelley warned that if ventilators do not arrive, the hospital will not be able to increase its capacity, though arrangements exist with Barts to move patients across, with the eventual possibility of sending patients on to NHS Nightingale once it opens at the ExCel Centre next week.
“The whole focus of the trust across our acute and community services is on the management of Covid-19. All our work is focused on that completely.
“By Easter we will have seen a six- to sevenfold increase in our mortuary capacity, of which the majority will be temporary, but we need to make sure this is sustainable, and there is more work to be done on where funerals can take place.”
Planned surgical procedures and outpatients appointments have also seen reductions, with only “urgent work” and clinical pathways around cancer still continuing, she said.