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Housing association helps free up critical care beds in Cornwall

Housing association helps free up critical care beds in Cornwall

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 10:00am 19th April 2020.

A housing provider has partnered with the NHS and Cornwall Council to help free up much needed critical care beds during the coronavirus crisis.

Home Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of integrated housing, health and care, were approached about converting vacant properties for patients leaving hospital but unable to return home.

Answering the call, in just ten days the housing association turned a recently decommissioned building into 11 bedrooms; cleaning, decorating and part-furnishing each to provide a comfortable, safe and secure space for people to live.

“It’s been an incredible effort by all of the team in turning this property around in such a short space of time.

"Once the NHS and Cornwall Council got in touch we knew we had to help. The property will make such a big difference to both hospital capacity and outpatients during this time and we’re continuing to look at where else we can support the NHS and local government, both in this region and others.

"This is a great example of multiple organisations working together during the coronavirus crisis to help save lives and protect the public.”

            Anita Jackson, an Operation Manager at Home Group

The building is now already being used by the NHS and Cornwall Council to support people in the region to leave hospital wards and create space for those in need of intensive care.

Vacant Properties in Cornwall

Meanwhile, it is known thousands of homes in Cornwall are sitting empty as councils face the huge task of finding safe places for the homeless to stay during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Local Government Association has raised concerns about the number of properties lying vacant across the country at a time of chronic shortage, after the Government gave councils a deadline to house people for the duration of the outbreak.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government figures show that 7,460 homes in Cornwall were empty at the most recent count in October 2019.

Of those, 2,840 were classed as long-term vacancies, meaning they had been unoccupied for at least six months.

The number of vacant dwellings in the area was lower than a year previously, when there were 7,810.

And there were far fewer than the 9,407 counted in 2009, the earliest year with comparable data.

Across England, there were 648,000 vacant properties last October – a seven-year high.

More than a third of these had been left gathering dust for half a year or more.

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