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Unused field hospital beds to be offered to Swansea Bay communities and Ukrainian refugees

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Hundreds of brand new single beds and mattresses which were urgently procured for the Covid-19 field hospitals in Swansea Bay will now be donated to people who really need them.

The unused beds will be given free of charge to families and people who have been homeless, or who may be struggling to afford the beds they need.

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Beds will also be offered to refugees, including people arriving in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot from Ukraine.

The health board is now working with local partnership agencies to help identify families and refugees in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot who could benefit.

And an appeal is also going out to health board staff to donate spare new pillows and single duvets, and freshly-laundered or new single bed linen in good condition.

The field hospital beds were only meant for short-term use in an emergency situation. They are unsuitable for main acute hospitals or community NHS or health settings, as they were not designed for permanent use. The basic beds lack the pedals and motors needed to raise and lower patients, so were not built for long-term clinical use.

However, the beds are more than robust enough for every day domestic use, and come with waterproof mattresses and head and foot boards.

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595 beds are currently available for donation for Swansea Bay communities.

“The field hospital beds were there in case we needed them, and it is fantastic that because of vaccinations and other measures put in place during the pandemic we have not had to use them,” said Sally Bloomfield, Project Lead for Bay Field Hospital.

“But now we have an opportunity to ensure they can still be used for people who really need them.”

Amanda Davies, Swansea Bay UHB Service Improvement Manager said: “There is a real opportunity now to make a positive difference to the lives of many Swansea Bay residents facing adversity, and also refugees arriving here for sanctuary.

“The cost of living is rising significantly and we know that more people within our communities are facing financial hardship.

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“It is likely that people including children who are living without a proper bed to sleep in or who are sleeping on floors or sharing single beds will encounter health problems.

“Having a new bed of their own will help them get a good night’s sleep and support their health and wellbeing.

“What we do now to address bed poverty within our communities will positively impact upon the wellbeing of our future generations.”

Sally added: “We also realise that if someone is finding it difficult to afford a bed, then they will likely need support to dress it too. So we are asking our staff to help if they can, by donating spare bed linen that we can hand out with the beds as a complete package.”

(Lead image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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