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How to increase ward capacity and plan for pressures of rising patient admissions

As the UK records it’s highest levels of Coronavirus infections since May, many are asking if our NHS and hospitals could be overwhelmed this coming winter; unable to cope with a second wave on top of the usual seasonal rise in patients.

According to a recent article in The Guardian detailing a study conducted by Edge health, “more than 100 NHS trusts in England could be at or above full capacity this winter if they face a second wave of coronavirus admissions on top of the usual seasonal workload, with figures suggesting that dozens would have 10% fewer beds than needed.”

“The analysis carried out suggested that if NHS England experienced April levels of Covid-19 pressure on top of normal winter pressures, 107 of 132 trusts (81%) would have fewer beds than were available to them last winter, with 46 trusts exceeding capacity by 10% or more.”

Winter always sees a spike in illnesses, mainly amongst the ageing population, however this year this could be combined with people of all ages who have been infected by COVID-19. Therefore many more hospital beds could be needed to meet the expected demand and ensure hospitals are able to provide safe care.

How can capacity be increased?

During the Winter of 2019/20, escalation beds (additional beds brought into service in order to accommodate extra patients) were up by over 28% compared to the same point in 2018/19 and this figure is likely to rise in 2020/21. Most of the time, beds are available but the space isn’t utilised in the most efficient way and therefore the beds often go unused. The problem can generally be overcome by reconfiguring existing areas or creating completely new spaces in previously unused areas using Wardfast.

Create or adapt spaces with Wardfast

Westgate’s Wardfast is a rapid deployment modular wall and screen system used to create temporary bays and wards, isolation pods, waiting rooms and demarcation. It is also suitable for use between bed bays to reduce the risk of COVID transmission and provide additional protection for patients and visitors.

Currently in use at NHS Nightingale temporary hospitals across the UK, the practical partitioning system is available as a free-standing or floor-to-ceiling solution which comes in a range of heights (with window and door options), to fit your space.

Wardfast uses our innovative and 100% sustainable Hoardfast PVC panel, which is hygienic, fully wipeable, quick-to-install and easily reconfigured with the flexibility to adapt for patient population changes.

Because the Hoardfast range features hygienic components and has a tongue and groove joint system for no mess click-together installation, Wardfast is ideally suited to sensitive hospital environments and is excellent in helping to meet privacy and dignity regulations. It has acute ward capability and is infection control approved so it can be used to segregate high-risk patients when it comes to infection.

Rapidly mobilise off and on site ward set ups

The Westgate team is familiar with the strict requirements of a hospital environment. Our system has a 2.7m standard panel height option which is specifically created for regulation hospital ceiling height offering maximum infection prevention. If alternative heights are required, the panels are pre-cut, off-site, to further reduce risk in the hospital environment.

Our experienced design team can support with your layout and our installations team (if you opt for no self-assembly) are used to working in patient care environments. Due to the modular system, installation is quick and additionally, no paint, sawdust or mess is involved during the installation process meaning it doesn’t disrupt surrounding areas and patient care can continue.

For complete convenience and to cope with the changing demands of the hospital environment, the lightweight panels can be easily taken down, relocated and reconfigured without any lasting damage.

Readily available from UK stock, the system is available for quick dispatch and fire and sound rated panel options are also available.

If you are looking to increase admission capacity by adapting and dividing your existing space, contact us and speak to a sector specialist on +44 (0)1785 319 307 or find out more about Wardfast temporary partition wall for hospitals on our website.

Wardfast
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