Bolton mosque offers 22 beds to local hospitals

24th Apr 2020
Bolton mosque offers 22 beds to local hospitals

Volunteers prepare the vacant Masjid E Ghosia Mosque ready to use as a makeshift care unit (Courtesy of Dr Mohammed Jiva)

Harun Nasrullah

A Bolton mosque is seeking to help locals by offering the premises to healthcare professionals to support end-of-life patients in palliative care and thereby freeing up space at hospitals for Covid-19 patients.

Although the offer to use Masjid E Ghosia in Deane was declined by NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, organisers have vowed to continue with the project which has secured 22 beds ready to used “as and when the time comes.”

The plans are the brainchild of Chair of the GP Federation, Dr Mohammed Jiva MBE, a veteran GP of 23 years. In an interview with The Muslim News, Dr Jiva, who has the support of fellow GPs Dr Zahid Chauhan, Dr Sharif Uddin, and Dr Rauf Munshi, described the intentions of the plans to deliver the end of life care within the mosque to provide support to those who the healthcare service has little more to offer other than respite care.

“Before the lockdown, we had met in the mosque and agreed that during the lockdown because the mosque will be closed, we could use it for something useful. We agreed to help those who cannot get places in the hospital to be housed in the mosque.

This will be the best way to give back to the community,” said Dr Jiva. He added that the aim is to take “elderly patients not able to get a bed in hospitals due to lack of beds. It is not easy for them to be cared for at home end of life patients. We will have facilities to quarantine those patients with Covid-19.”

The mosque will have the same standards as any hospital and will be open to patients of all faiths. The project will be managed by experienced professionals and doctors, nurses and carers have agreed to volunteer their time.

Local businesses and charities have agreed to contribute towards the expenses of the project. The Bolton Council of Mosques is also supporting the campaign, with the initiative looking to be very successful, even in these early stages.

Said Mohammed Akuji, of Council of Mosques, said, “Hopefully it’s a flop, in a good way. It was an idea very much pushed by Dr Jiva with the mosque being closed. Straight away we thought it was a fantastic idea and a great way to give back to the community.”“We thought how can we utilise this rather than just leaving it as it is, especially at a time when we need something like this. It’s our way to help everybody in Bolton as we are part of the Bolton family.”

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