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Care home in Moray converted to free up hospital beds for possible virus patients

David Walker and David Mackay
David Walker and David Mackay

Wards at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary have been cleared to create space for patients with the coronavirus.

Four wards – 303, 304, 306 and 102 – are now situated at Woodend Hospital as NHS Grampian prepares for an influx of potential Covid-19 cases.

In addition to their patients being relocated, some of the elderly people who had been getting treatment at ARI have now been relocated to care homes.

A spokesman for NHS Grampian said: “We have moved patients from four of our wards at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to Woodend Hospital to create extra capacity.

“A number of patients, who were deemed suitable for discharge with care packages in place have left our care for facilities including care homes.”

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has also been closed-off to the majority of visitors, unless they are there to see someone who is in their final stages of life.

The moving of the wards comes as health boards across Scotland prepare for the coronavirus pandemic by creating extra space for people to be treated.

Kingswells, Sheddocksley and Summerhill councillor, Steve Delaney said: As we move into the next phase of this pandemic, a number of changes will have to be made to how public sector bodies deliver services.

“This often involves relocating services to other buildings in order to free up capacity at key locations.

“The Woodend Hospital building itself may be starting to look old and tired in comparison to some of the newer wards in ARI, but Woodend’s strength has always been its people.

“I know the staff will rise to the challenge and be ready to welcome these new patients in order to free up acute beds at ARI, so they can care for the most seriously ill.”

Meanwhile, a Moray care home has been converted to free up hospital beds ahead of a possible surge in coronavirus patients.

A 17-bed unit has been created at Spynie Care Home in Elgin to support those who need short-term support before moving back home again.

Health and Social Care Moray has led the project and will be staffing the 24-hour centre in the home’s Duffus wing with spaces elsewhere also being sourced.

An enhanced discharge service has also been established to ensure no patients are remaining in hospital longer than necessary.

And visiting community nursing teams are being strengthened to increase the capacity for delivering care at home where possible.

Pam Dudek, chief officer of Health and Social Care Moray, explained that projections of possible coronavirus cases in the area had identified a need for beds to be freed up in hospitals.

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