Wessex Heartbeat, is offering NHS staff a place to stay within easy reach of Southampton General Hospital, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After making the difficult decision to close Heartbeat House – the respite home for families of patients undergoing cardiac care – Wessex Heartbeat has pledged to make a positive use of the premises.

Following the latest government guidelines and advice from Public Health England, the regional charity has now opened Heartbeat House to its NHS medical staff in need of a place to stay.

The 25-bedroom home-from-home serves the families of those undergoing treatment at Southampton’s Cardiac Centre by offering them a quiet refuge just two minutes away from the hospital.

John Munro, chief executive of Wessex Heartbeat, said: “After careful consideration, we made the difficult decision to close Heartbeat House - ensuring the safety of not only the families using the House but more importantly the patients who are already vulnerable.”

“As soon as the decision was made to close the House to families, the CEO and Chair of the Trustees went straight into discussions in how we could effectively use the Heartbeat House in support of our medical staff.

“Heartbeat House is fully equipped for day to day living and is ideal for the staff to get some hugely deserved respite. It also means they can answer most emergencies within a matter of minutes with the hospital so close by.

“The house and the Charity will ensure that all deep cleaning is carried out to reduce any further risks.”

As with any charity, Wessex Heartbeat relies on much-needed donations – and now is more important than ever. To help keep awareness of the charity high and continue raising much-needed funds for Heartbeat House and the cardiac team, Wessex Heartbeat is continuing with a number of fundraising initiatives, such as an online charity quiz.

For more information on how you can donate to Heartbeat House, please visit: https://www.heartbeat.co.uk/heartbeat-house-page