WARDS controversially closed at two community hospitals in the Staffordshire Moorlands - Leek Moorlands and Cheadle - could be re-opened to treat Covid-19 [coronavirus] patients at 48 hours notice, if required. More than 160 patients are currently being treated for the life-threatening virus in Staffordshire's two main hospitals Tracy Bullock, chief executive of the University Hospitals on North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM), said: "If we need the community beds we are in a very good position. Staff have been identified but are currently being used elsewhere and we would only need 48 hours." But if there is a need for more beds, because of the Royal Stoke University and Stafford hospitals becoming overwhelmed, extra beds would be utilised at the Haywood and Harplands hospitals. Community hospitals campaigner Pam Wood, founder of the Save Leek Hospital Action Group, said: "It is good that these hospitals can be used. I just hope politics don't stop what is an obvious part of the solution to dealing with coronavirus. The former senior nurse at Leek Moorlands added: "These beds should be brought back anyway for intermediate care for people recovering from health crises, as a step-up facility to avoid admissions to the acute hospital, and as a rehabilitation facility."