A number of hotels across the South are being turned into care facilities, for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak.

The aim is to free up a number of NHS beds and to help ease the pressure on the healthcare system.

The Salomons Estate Hotel in Tunbridge Wells and the Hotel Rembrandt in Weymouth are among those being converted.

Another building being converted is the The Olympic Lodge at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium, in Buckinghamshire.

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The Olympic Lodge was a hotel specially designed for paralympic athletes and their families during the Paralympic Games.

There are 100 beds available at the Lodge and 50 rooms have been transformed so far.

Organisers say the number of rooms will be expanded to 240, if needed.

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Patients who will come to the Olympic Lodge are no longer in need of acute medical care, but are not well enough to return home.

Staff say it has been a big challenge to get the facility up and running in three weeks.

Shift manager, Julia Froment said that it's been "a feat in itself" to change the facility from a hotel.

She said: "We've got so much equipment come in that we can use, so yes it's a big big change. "

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Many of the staff at the Olympic Lodge have come from day or respite centres that have closed because of the pandemic.

As patients were due to start arriving, final briefings and meetings were going on.

A member of staff said the new way of working will take time to get used to.

Receptionist, Linda Parr said: "At the moment I feel slightly anxious, which is understandable. But I'm happy to do it, glad to be here really."

Credit: ITV Meridian

Although the facility is not going to be used to treat patients with covid-19, the local council are confident they can cope if there was an outbreak.

Cllr Angela Macpherson, Buckinghamshire Council said: "These people will be stepping down from hospital, so we would not anticipate a huge outbreak here."

"But if there were one, we're in absolutely the right place to bring those people back into hospital if they need it."

  • Watch the full report by Charlotte Briere-Edney