Published date: 08 May 2020

Creating additional bed capacity and testing facilities to support a Trust’s COVID-19 response

Longridge Community Hospital, Leyland Clinic and Preston Healthport, Lancashire and South Cumbria


Site: A range of NHSPS owned sites across the north west, requiring new space and services for COVID-19. 

Customers/Stakeholders: Lancashire & South Cumbria Foundation Trust (LSCFT), Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Chorley South Ribble CCG

NHSPS representatives: Zakaria Limbada, Senior Property Manager, Colin Maylor, Facilities Service Manager, Damian Gudgeon, Health & Safety Specialist, Mike Hill, Senior Construction Manager, Daniel Burdett, Regional Partnership Director (North West)

The challenge

LSCFT were commission the following, and asked NHSPS to support:

  1. Assist the acute hospital trust in finding or creating additional bed capacity for COVID-19 patients in primary/community care sites.
  2. Setting up a community base for nurses to carry out COVID-19 testing in the Central Lancashire area for vulnerable patients (within 72 hours).
  3. Set up a mobile COVID-19 testing unit in the Preston area for NHS staff (within 24 hours).


The solution

  1. LSCFT identified an underused gym area within Longridge Community Hospital which could be converted to provide a critical care ward. NHSPS set up a in-house project team spanning asset and facilities management, construction, health and safety and legal, to assist and ensure the safe and efficient delivery of the project.
  2. The NHSPS property management team identified vacant space within Leyland Clinic as a consideration for this testing base, and then offered facilities management and health and safety expertise to ensure compliance.
  3. Identified and presented a section of the Preston Healthport car park for the mobile testing truck. This also required extra cleaning at the site.

The impact

  1. A 5 bed critical/palliative care ward was created at Longridge, allowing patients with palliative needs to be relocated from the nearby acute hospitals, freeing up space for COVID-19 patients to be treated.
  2. The patient testing base was set up at Leyland Clinic, meaning the Trust’s nurses could be closer to their patient catchment area, and reduce their travel time between each patient visit.
  3. The testing truck was successfully set up at Preston, allowing frontline colleagues to be tested, delivered within 24 hours and before the implementation of larger testing sites.

Throughout all of these projects, we worked hard to ensure none of the existing operations or users were put at any unnecessary risk.

Learn more about our COVID-19 activity

We recommissioned and reconfigured space across our estate during COVID-19 to provide additional capacity for treatment and testing, delivering space for over 1,000 beds.

See our infographic for more information