First Seacole Centre opens doors as rehab centre

The NHS Seacole Centre at Headley Court, Surrey, named in honour of the pioneering nurse Mary Seacole, has received its first patients.

The opening means that thousands of people are set to benefit from enhanced community services to help them recover from the long term effects of coronavirus. This week, the NHS Seacole Centre will provide specialist rehabilitation care for patients who are recovering from coronavirus in the Surrey region.

NHS England has hailed the efforts of all those involved in getting the new service up and running, and unveiled plans for similar services in other parts of the country.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: “In response to the greatest health emergency of our time, frontline and support staff across the NHS have moved heaven and earth to provide expert care for over 90,000 Covid patients treated in our hospitals over just the past 90 days. While our country is now emerging from the initial peak of coronavirus, we’re now seeing a substantial new need for rehab and aftercare for Covid patients who’ve come through this terrible illness.

“Some may need care for tracheostomy wounds, ongoing therapy to recover heart, lung and muscle function, psychological treatment for post-intensive care syndrome and cognitive impairment, while others may need social care support for their everyday needs like washing and dressing. So the next phase of the health service’s coronavirus response will mean expanding and strengthening community health and care services in new ways, such as these new Seacole Centres.”

Formerly a disused military hospital, the facility was transformed into The NHS Seacole Centre in just 35 days, thanks to the work of teams across Surrey Heartlands, including Surrey County Council, the military and the NHS – including host trust Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals.

Event Diary

Following the 2017 Naylor Report into NHS estates, it has been estimated that estate upkeep costs have reached approximately £10bn in annual funding for 2019/2020.

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