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New unit to help protect North West London care homes from Covid-19 opens in Ealing

17 July 2020

Ealing Community Partners, led by West London NHS Trust, has opened a 24-bedroom facility to support the safe discharge of patients affected by Covid-19 from acute hospitals. This is with the aim of protecting care homes from receiving residents who are potentially infectious, whilst also ensuring that patients who are recovering do not remain in hospital for longer than necessary.

Following discussion with staff, the new unit has been named in honour of Mary Robinson, the UK’s first District Nurse who worked in Liverpool during the 1860s.

The Southall facility was developed in conjunction with the North West London Integrated Care System, Ealing Council, London Central and West Unscheduled Care Collaborative, and primary care colleagues from The Argyle Group. The unit is co-located near other Ealing Community Partners services and supported by other community teams.

Patients from across North West London will be eligible for short-term admission if they are unable to return to their long-term placement due to their Covid-19 status.

Dr Christopher Hilton, Clinical Director of Integrated Care Services at West London NHS Trust said:

“The impact of Covid-19 on care homes across the country has been devastating, and locally we have been trying to support the homes and residents in a number of ways since early on in the pandemic. The NHS Mary Robinson Unit will continue to be part of the system’s response to Covid-19 as we emerge from the first wave of the virus and continue to protect residents in the months to come.”

During the pandemic, Ealing Community Partners has been supporting care homes in Ealing in a number of ways, including:

  • Providing primary care support through partners in The Argyle Group, who look after around 1,000 patients in Ealing’s nursing homes, and were among the first to highlight the impact of Covid-19 to patients in these care settings, and who inspired the decision to develop this new unit;
  • Working with Ealing Council, public health teams and Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to track outbreaks and provide training and support for care home staff, including assisting with PPE supply and training;
  • Establishing a regular check-in service through a dedicated care home clinician to help residential homes, linking with primary care;
  • Continuing to offer a clinical Telemedicine service through NHS111, in partnership with London Central and West Unscheduled Care Collaborative, North West London CCGs and Social Finance, for care homes across North West London.
  • Extending a new psychological support service “Keeping Well”, to care home staff across North West London – a partnership between West London NHS Trust and Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.