Plans are being finalised to create a new 500-bed recovery facility in Liverpool city centre to help the city's fight against coronaviorus.
Liverpool City Council is working with other Merseyside local authorities and the armed forces on the plan and is very close to agreement on one site that will be turned into a health facility.
While details of the building that will be used have not been released, the ECHO understands it will be in a central Liverpool location that is easy to access for those travelling in and out of the city.
It is expected to open in around a week's time.
the Nightingale Hospitals
being set up in London, Manchester and other cities – the Liverpool centre will not be used to treat patients suffering with severe coronavirus conditions.
The idea is for the new facility to ease the pressure on the city and region's hospitals where staff are battling every day to keep Covid-19 patients alive.
The Liverpool centre will care for patients from across Merseyside who have low-level needs and are ready for discharge, but can’t yet return home, including those without Covid-19.
And with staffing an issue across the NHS – the new facility will be supported by some of the thousands of volunteers who have signed up to Mayor Joe Anderson's volunteer army, with people now being asked to offer their time at the new centre.
Mayor Anderson said: “We’ve been working hard to come up with a plan for a centre that helps get people out of hospital quickly, so they aren’t taking up beds for a moment longer than they need to.
“We all know our hospitals will be under immense pressure, even before we reach the expected peak of cases, so it is vital that we have additional capacity available in the system if required at this time
“It will also help support those who need residential placements but can’t secure a bed within existing care homes due to pressures in the system.
“I must stress that Liverpool’s hospitals will continue to care for acute patients, and those who are infected with Covid-19, and this will be a large-scale extension of our intermediate care hubs which help bridge the gap between hospital and home.
“This is a great example of different organisations in Merseyside and Liverpool coming together at a time of crisis.”
It is understood that the new facility is not needed at present, but the agreement is being made with cases in the region still yet to peak.
More than 120 people have died in Liverpool's hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19 – with over 700 people confirmed to have the virus in the city.
Other Merseyside hospital trusts are also seeing a steady increase in coronavirus deaths, with more than 50 now sadly registered in Wirral.