HEALTH chiefs have confirmed a city community hospital is earmarked as a coronavirus isolation facility.

Worcester City Inpatient Unit, in Timberdine Close has been chosen as there are many individual rooms to segregate each patient, preventing further contamination.

A spokesman for Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust said: “We are looking across our estate to support the community. Patients who are not well enough to stay at home but do not need hospital treatment will be able to rehabilitate at the site.

“As part of recovery, segregation needs to take place to stop the virus spreading further - we need to ensure patients in the acute hospital with Covid-19 symptoms are supported to recover in the most appropriate place.

“Across the healthcare system we are working up local plans to enable this to happen, and this includes using the Worcester City Inpatient Unit - one of our local community hospitals - to provide ‘step down’ care for people who are feeling better and no longer require acute care, but need a bit more support before they can be discharged home.”

The spokesman added that, at present, there are no plans to use other community hospitals as coronavirus isolation areas.

The move is hoped to increase patient capacity for other illnesses at acute hospitals in the region.

Despite people across the county showing symptoms of coronavirus, the number of official confirmed cases in Worcestershire has been revised down to just one.

Public Health England figures show that one person had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on March 17 in Worcestershire, down from three the same time the day before. A week before, there were no cases.

A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council said: “Our priority throughout this very fast moving situation, is to protect our residents and our staff and to keep them safe and well.

“Working from home is well-established for staff at the council and that will continue but we have a number of frontline services which need staff to continue to come into our buildings to deliver.”

Worcester city mayor Allah Ditta said: “We must listen to the experts - they are working in the interests of our community.

“I understand people are panicking but we must be cautious.

“I’ve not experienced anything like this virus before.

“Everyone needs to listen to the latest advice.'' 

City councillor Richard Udall said: “We are living in extraordinary times and extraordinary measures are what’s needed - anything that helps the situation, I welcome.”

Health partners across Worcestershire are continuing to work together to keep the county protected against Coronavirus.

Councillor John Smith, cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: It’s really important that everyone follows the latest guidance about staying at home if you show even the slightest symptoms of coronavirus.

“Our webpage is constantly being updated to reflect the new guidance that is being issued regularly by central Government.”

“Anyone showing symptoms is being told to self-isolate for 7 days, from the point that the symptoms started.”

Worcestershire County Council yesterday launched a community action initiative called Here 2 Help to encourage residents to work with them to support communities during the pandemic.

Police are also prepared.

Head of local policing, chief superintendent Tom Harding, said: “Police play an important role in co-ordinating the work of relevant agencies during major incidents. During the flooding we experienced last month, I witnessed first-hand how well partners and the community can come together to look after each other and am confident we will see the same as we navigate our way through the next few months.

“As a police service we have tried and tested plans in place to ensure we continue to provide critical services in times of increased demand, or if we experience staffing capacity issues.

“We may need to modify some of our services or find alternative ways of working, however, I can offer my assurances there will always be police officers on duty, day and night.

“We will continue to work 24/7 365 and we will continue to make sure we put our resources where they are needed to ensure we respond to emergency calls.

“My plea is that over the next few months we all look after and support each other, family, friends and neighbours. Following last month’s flooding I’ve heard many inspiring stories of how communities came together to support each other and I’m sure that whatever impact Covid-19 has over the coming months we will all pull together as a community and help look after each other in a similar way.”