Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT), alongside the wider NHS, has established major incident procedures to best coordinate its response to issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are responding to the incident in various ways:

  • setting up new services and wards to best meet expected surges in demand
  • altering the way we deliver services to minimise face-to-face contact and group based activities
  • adjusting our approach to patient contact in line with guidance on isolation and protective approaches
  • temporarily closing some services to prioritise delivery of critical services

Dr Anne Scott, Director of Nursing, Allied Health Professionals and Quality at LPT said:

“Firstly, LPT’s main consideration is to ensure that we deliver safe care to all our patients while also maximising the safety of all of our staff. This is an exceptionally challenging time for us all, and we are extremely proud of all our staff for stepping up to meet the unprecedented challenges we are facing.

We have been reviewing and adjusting our approach to services in line with the national guidance, and the latest position for each service is being described on our website (For latest information visit: https://www.leicspart.nhs.uk/).

This is focused on maintaining the delivery of critical services, and enables the Trust to safely staff and rapidly implement additional surge plans in critical service areas, in order to respond to expected increased demand. This has included preparing extra capacity, recruiting new staff and volunteers, and redeploying existing staff. We are creating extra capacity to deal with patients who have or who are strongly suspected of having the virus, and who are in need of hospital care.

Our ‘surge’ plans include expanding capacity in the following critical service areas:

  • An increase of around 70% in beds in community hospital inpatients (medical step down and end of life care) through a phased introduction of 75 Independent sector beds and an extra 72 beds on LPT additional community hospital wards.
  • Home First, community based end of life care and University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) discharge hub: most LPT staff not redeployed to support an increase in bed numbers will be deployed to one of eight community hubs across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and to the discharge hub in UHL to support the delivery of anticipated increases in demand for these services.
  • A new Mental Health Urgent Care Unit at the Bradgate Mental Health Unit will open this week which will streamline urgent mental health patients to reduce the need to attend the Emergency Department at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
  • A new Central Access Point for mental health to provide direct number 24/7 to referrers and service users for mental health support started this week (6 April 2020).

Community hospitals

Hinckley and Bosworth Community Hospital began accepting COVID-positive patients who had been transferred from acute hospitals; and Melton Hospital will follow when necessary. Both have modern wards with single rooms which reduces the chance of infection spreading. In addition, they both have piped oxygen which is important when caring for this cohort of patient.

We are also taking responsibility for the first of 33 beds at the Nuffield Hospital, staffed by Nuffield healthcare teams. Another 42 beds at the Spire Hospital are due to become available at a later date.

We have ordered a further 100 beds to be delivered from April 13, which will allow extra capacity within wards in Coalville Community Hospital (Ward 4) the Evington Centre (Wakerley Ward) and Loughborough Hospital (Gracedieu and Charnwood wards). We are also looking at the potential for creating further capacity elsewhere within our estate.

Finally, to reiterate, at every stage our main considerations are the delivery of safe patient care while also maximising the safety and wellbeing of all of our staff. This is an exceptional challenge and an unprecedented time for all, and we are extremely proud of all our staff for all of their hard work, professionalism and commitment.”

For further information contact:

Kamy Basra, Head of Communications,  Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Tel: 07836 614 633, Email: kamy.basra@leicspart.nhs.uk