Residents moved out of Harrogate district care home to free up beds for recovering coronavirus patients
Residents of a Boroughbridge care home have been moved out so it can be used to treat patients recovering from coronavirus.
A total of 30 beds have been made available at Springfield Garth on York Road.
It is the first care home in the county to be used as a 'step-down facility' as part of the government's goal to free up 30,000 beds nationally to support the NHS.
North Yorkshire County Council, which runs the care home, said it was chosen because there were only five people living there.
The residents were moved to Benkhill Lodge in Bedale at the beginning of April.
Springfield Garth was also selected because of its central location to hospitals in York, Ripon and Harrogate - including the NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and the Humber, which opened at Harrogate Convention Centre on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire County Council said: "The use of Springfield Garth for this single, vital purpose shows that as a council we have been more than ready to embrace innovative solutions and practice to help local hospitals free up the beds they need to treat people who are critically ill.
"Families were consulted before decisions were made and before any moves took place."
The care home was given a deep clean and additional staff were brought in once the residents were moved out, the county council said.
The home is now admitting patients from hospitals - and work is underway to make more beds available at other venues.
"Springfield Garth is the only home currently in North Yorkshire being used for this single purpose to enable people with covid-19 to step down from hospital whilst their community support is arranged," a spokesperson for the county council said.
"However, we are constantly reviewing the council’s bed capacity to meet the challenge of the covid-19 outbreak and we have arrangements in place for additional beds right across the county to meet a range of different needs."
The county council has also made changes to its frontline social care services.
Staff are operating a seven-day-a-week, 8am to 8pm, service to support residents and ease pressure on the NHS.
The authority has also launched a fast-tracked recruitment campaign to boost its care worker numbers.
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter
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