Partners across Surrey are working together to plan and manage our response to the growing coronavirus pandemic. Part of this response has been to develop plans for an additional community-style hospital to deal with increasing patient numbers as this situation develops.

Headley Court will now re-open and serve as a temporary community hospital.

Senior Responsible Officer for Surrey Heartlands, Dr Claire Fuller, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all partners who are involved in getting this facility up and running as quickly as possible. This represents a fantastic example of the cross-collaboration between public and private sector partners across Surrey, and the willingness of people to work together in the face of an unprecedented public health emergency.”

With a peak in numbers expected during April, a senior team has been scoping potential solutions in Surrey to provide additional capacity which could relieve pressure on our bigger, acute hospitals and community teams during the weeks and months ahead.

The facility, based in Leatherhead, will provide non-critical care to patients including:

  • step-down from acute hospitals
  • rehabilitation/convalescence
  • those receiving end of life care
  • patients who are recovering from Covid-19 who don’t require critical care or acute hospital care.

A cross-partner team from across the NHS, Surrey County Council and the military is working hard to get the facility up and running quickly and we anticipate ward areas being ready to receive patients later this month.

Leader of Surrey County Council, and Chair of the Surrey Heartlands Partnership Tim Oliver said: “The collaboration demonstrated through this project, and our wider response to the current situation, has been remarkable. We will get through this together, thanks to the hard work of our frontline workers and the great willingness on the part of all our staff who are doing the most remarkable job in the most challenging conditions.”

Next week the multi-agency team will hand over the set-up and running of this facility to Epsom and St Helier Hospitals who will work with partners to ensure that it operational and staffed to support those needing community hospital care.

Chief Executive of the Trust, Daniel Elkeles said:  “At this difficult time for the NHS, it is important we all work together.  We are delighted to be taking on the set-up and running of this temporary community hospital.  It will mean that we can support both people in Surrey needing acute care in our hospitals and also provide the right setting for those who don’t need acute care but still need to be looked after in a hospital setting.”​

The Headley Court facility, which previously provided rehabilitation care to military personnel before it closed in September 2017, is already configured with ward space and other clinical areas making it ideal to be quickly converted for use as a community hospital.

Karen Thorburn, who has been leading this part of the project on behalf of the local NHS added: “We would like to say a particular thank you to Tony Williamson of Angle Property, the current land owner of Headley Court, for his willingness to work with us on this project, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.”