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Acorns hands over Birmingham hospice to the NHS for coronavirus patients

By Richard Guttridge | Walsall | Coronavirus | Published:

Acorns children's hospice is to temporarily hand over its Birmingham site to the NHS to care for coronavirus patients.

Acorns boss Toby Porter

The charity, which also runs an under-threat facility in Walsall, has joined the fight against Covid-19 by offering up the hospice to help under-pressure NHS trusts, to be effectively used as another hospital.

It means the Birmingham site will temporarily be closed as a hospice, with staff to be shifted to other hospices in Walsall and Worcester.

Acorns in Walsall will be available for children with complex medical needs currently being looked after in local hospitals, providing a safe environment for those children while helping ease the pressure on the NHS and free up intensive care beds.

Acorns chief executive Toby Porter said: “In these unprecedented times, Acorns is stepping-up. These plans will allow us to continue to prioritise children’s hospice care for the most vulnerable children and families, while directly or indirectly supporting the wider emergency response of our NHS and social care system, by increasing intensive care bed capacity in our hospitals.”

As part its emergency measures, Acorns has announced it will provide end-of-life care for any child or young person that needs it, a safe environment for any child with life-limiting or life-threatening illness or condition, who cannot be looked after at home.

Support is also available for around 600 families of children normally cared for at Acorns, and who are almost all now self-isolating at home.

Mr Porter added: “We will continually review Acorns services in light of the emergency and there will be a need for our specialist staff and volunteers to show great flexibility as the situation evolves.

“Acorns is proud to have the opportunity at this time of national emergency to continue to provide our highly specialised children’s hospice care and to support our NHS partners.

"We’re all in this together, and our communities must continue to work together to fight this infection and be there for the most vulnerable.”

Acorns is trying to raise £2 million to ensure its Walsall hospice can remain open permanently. Almost £700,000 has been raised so far.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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