Published date: 30 April 2020

Repurposing space to create additional bed capacity, freeing up space for COVID-19 treatment in acute sites

Queen Mary Hospital, London


Site: PFI community hospital in Wandsworth, London. 

Customers/Stakeholders: South West London Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

NHSPS representatives: Jake Roe, Regional Partnership Director (London), Andrew Evans, Senior Portfolio Optimisation Manager, Keir Emms, Senior Property Manager, Barbara Lewis, Senior Facilities Manager

The challenge

In mid-March 2020, the South West London (SWL) STP approached NHS Property Services for support in increasing step down bed capacity at Queen Mary Hospital, in order to free up emergency bed space across acute hospitals in the area for COVID-19 treatment.

The solution

Working with the STP, St George’s Foundation Trust, and Private Finance Initiative team, NHSPS teams set up a Task & Finish Group.

We identified and repurposed the hospital’s Sandalwood, Suite 6 and Burns Unit, and created additional capacity in their Mary Seacole, Wolfson and Gwynne Halford wards.

This involved repurposing admin space to clinical, and working with suppliers of medical beds to equip the newly created space with bed frames and mattresses.

The impact

In the space of two weeks, we have repurposed 1,400 sqm of additional space and created extra ward capacity, resulting in accommodation for 90 additional beds, day rooms and admin space.

This new capacity in the Primary Care estate will help ease pressure on acute hospitals.

In the process of this project, discussions with the Ministry of Defence procurement team has revealed potential sources via the Government’s Crown Commercial Services Framework, offering new supply routes available to the NHS and wider public sector, which will help future COVID-19 projects.

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