Every second can count when treating someone with coronavirus. So when NHS chiefs asked Sutton Coldfield for help, officials at the West Midlands club couldn’t respond quickly enough. The club have loaned three electric buggies to help the team putting together the NHS Nightingale Hospital, at the NEC near Birmingham, get round the massive site speedily and easily.
The vast new temporary field hospital at the exhibition and conference venue is set to open to patients on Friday after going from planning to completion in just two weeks.
It will take people who have Covid-19, while making sure there’s enough intensive care capacity in acute settings to help the most seriously ill patients.
But with 500 beds on the site, and the prospect of putting in many more if required, negotiating the huge arena is a challenge.
Sutton Coldfield club manager Haydn Lunn said they were “absolutely delighted” to be able to help.
“The management team overseeing the development of the NHS Nightingale told us the difficulties they are having in covering such a huge site,” he explained.
“If you’ve ever been to one of the exhibitions there, you’ll know it is a massive area. They are being delayed by the inability to get around the site quickly enough.
“They were talking to a member of Sutton Coldfield, who got in touch with myself, and we rapidly got our COBRA committee together, as we call it.
“That’s the officers and the club manager and ex-captain and we decided it would be a fantastic idea to help out the NHS in their situation.
“We have provided three electric golf buggies that were collected this morning (Thursday) on a low-loader truck.
“The captain, Mark Howell, was here, along with the honorary treasurer, Stephen Rochester, and myself to load the buggies on and off they went to the NEC.
“We were absolutely delighted to help. Everybody wants to be able to do something – whatever they can – for the NHS and this seemed a very practical and pretty crucial move, to help these guys get about the site quickly and get the hospital up and running as soon as possible.”
He added: “Everybody is massively appreciative of what the NHS are doing. There are very few ways you can help. This was just the one way we thought we could help to do our bit and we’re absolutely delighted to be in that position.”
What is your club doing to help in the fight against coronavirus? Let me know in the comments or tweet me.
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