NHS staff in Southampton are being offered a place to stay within easy reach of the General Hospital during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Wessex Heartbeat, a regional charity which has closed its doors in response to the pandemic, instead offered the use of their premises at Heartbeat House to NHS medical staff looking for a place to stay. They will continue to raise funds for Heartbeat House and the hospital in the meantime. This follows advice from the UK Government and Public Health England.
Heartbeat House is a 25-bedroom respite home for families of patients undergoing cardiac care, and the charity has promised to make positive use of the space despite the coronavirus’ disruption to their normal operations. Located just 2 minutes away from Southampton General Hospital, it’s ideal for healthcare workers who do not want to place their family homes at risk of infection.
John Munro, Chief Executive of Wessex Heartbeat, said:
After careful consideration, we made the difficult decision to close Heartbeat House – ensuring the safety of not only the families using the House but more importantly the patients who are already vulnerable. As soon as the decision was made to close the House to families, the CEO and Chair of the Trustees went straight into discussions in how we could effectively use the Heartbeat House in support of our medical staff.
Heartbeat House is fully equipped for day to day living and is ideal for the staff to get some hugely deserved respite. It also means they can answer most emergencies within a matter of minutes with the hospital so close by. The house and the charity will ensure that all deep cleaning is carried out to reduce any further risks.
Southampton Hospitals Charity, with the support of the Daily Echo, launched the campaign to support NHS workers in the city following an increased demand for services and frontline staff at UHS due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of writing, these efforts have raised £180,000; the Daily Echo has also introduced #ThereWithYou to support residents and commit to shine a light on unsung heroes in the local community.
To donate visit www.southamptonhospitalscharity.org/NHSheroes or text NHSHEROES 3 to 70460 to donate £3; NHSHEROES 5 to 70460 to donate £5; NHSHEROES 10 to 70460 to donate £10.