Staff in new coronavirus East of England surge centre will need proper PPE and training, says UNISON

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital announced today that it will house the East of England’s first coronavirus regional surge centre.

The centre will add 170 ventilated beds for coronavirus cases across the region, aiming to ensure patients get the specialised care they need.

It can be used and adapted depending on demand, so may function as a rehabilitation centre or even a place to shield non-coronavirus patients if that’s what’s needed.

Health chiefs are expecting to staff the centre with existing NHS workers, alongside returning and training clinicians.

UNISON Eastern head of health Sasha Savage said:  “We’re glad to see this massive increase in beds strengthening our region’s capacity to fight Covid-19.

“NHS staff are going flat out to support all of us through this pandemic despite the constant fear of working in such close contact with the virus.

“It’s important that they have the right levels of support and personal protective equipment to do so without putting themselves, their colleagues, their families or their patients in danger.

“We’ll be working with the Trust to make sure any redeployed staff are properly trained and properly equipped before being expected to operate the centre.

“And we’d like to remind the general public to do their bit by following the official social distancing guidelines.”