15 Apr 2020
Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre has been identified as a location for a temporary patient recovery centre that can be activated if needed, and preparations have already begun.
The Lancashire Resilience Forum (LRF) which coordinates the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, asked the army to clear space at the sports centre over the Easter Weekend.
The sports centre will only be used if needed. Whilst no decisions have yet been made by the NHS to use the facility, the University has been working closely with the LRF as part of their plan to ensure that the county is in the best possible position to support patients, should the need arise.
If this facility is required, it will allow the NHS to provide additional community beds to support the care sector and older people who cannot be discharged back home – freeing up acute beds in hospitals for those who need them most. It is anticipated that it will be in operation initially for 12 weeks and will be for the entire county.
Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods, who chairs the Lancashire Resilience Forum said: “It’s the LRF’s role to ensure that the county is fully prepared to deal with the peak of the coronavirus and extra capacity for the NHS is one of the things we have been scoping. It may never be required, but we must be prepared in case it is needed.
“We have looked at different sites across the county and believe the one at the university offers the facilities we need to create the additional space for patients to recover after a hospital stay.
“We are grateful to the university for allowing us to use the centre and to the military who will be working over the Easter weekend to clear the site so it is ready if and when the NHS make a decision to use this space.
We want to be prepared to support them as soon as required, so this work is vital in ensuring that we are.”