Posted on: 24 March 2020

Dear Olivia

I’m writing to you about the emergency closure of the three wards at The Gordon Hospital in Pimlico (from Friday 27 March).

This is wholly related to the Public Health Emergency around Covid-19 and the respiratory crisis in the acute sector.

CNWL as a whole has moved into Emergency Response for the overall needs of the system. We are centralising mental health services to:

  • cover for staff who are off sick or isolating due to Covid-19 (over 800 or about 15% of our staff)
  • redeploy others to other services
  • enhance emergency services to keep mental health crises out of A&E departments
  • provide more community services to respond to the mental healthneed and the additional issues raised (much more anxiety and worry amongst patients and the general public) which our IAPT services will be providing.

There are currently 23 patients at the Gordon and we have 65 empty beds at other CNWL sites. The Gordon is also a standalone site and we have others co-located with Acutes (an issue as we anticipate more inpatients will become Covid-19 positive and need care on our wards.) We also want to use sites that have garden access for patients which will be even more important during this time.

We have moved very quickly on this in the last few days, clinically-led and designed to make this change happen safely.

Staff  - who have been marvellous - have been informed and will maintain their grades, pay levels, training plans and receive additional expenses related to any moves.

Individual patients have care plans and we are just starting to publicise the new services.

We will review the situation once the Covid-19 crisis has passed but we needed to act now.

Yours faithfully,

Claire Murdoch

Chief Executive