Only one Nightingale hospital in use as London centre is mothballed

Henrietta Strickland
May 5, 2020

"What the Nightingale will be is effectively placed on standby so it would be ready to receive patients should that be required, but we are not anticipating that will be the case".

The site, which is beside the Nissan vehicle plant and close to the A19, was created for patients from the across the North East and North Cumbria and will be run by the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as it has specialist knowledge of infectious diseases.

A UHB spokesman confirmed no patients had been admitted to the hospital, which has 500 fully-equipped beds and its operation had been halted.

The hospitals were "absolutely not" a waste of money, the spokesman said.

"The Trust is on standby to step up the NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham within 72 hours should it be needed to create capacity for Trusts across the Midlands", a Trust spokesman told BirminghamLive.

Critics of the United Kingdom government's strategy say they have placed too much emphasis on resourcing hospitals and not enough on care homes - which provide vital shelter and support for the elderly, a vulnerable group particularly affected by the pandemic.

Prince Edward's wife said: "Over 300 diligent pairs of hands have contributed to this facility's construction and many more pairs of hands will care for those who may come to need it".

While also acknowledging the country may have passed the peak in the number of hospital in-patients, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said it "makes complete sense to have this reserve capacity". "If we need it back we can get it ready to admit patients within 72 hours with supplies and staffing".

The construction of the "field hospital" at the ExCeL Centre in East London, which was opened by Prince Charles on April 3, was hailed as a huge success by the United Kingdom government.

A new Nightingale hospital for the North East of England has officially opened, but could end up being used exclusively as a "reserve capacity".

The Countess of Wessex joined forces with TV duo Ant and Dec to formally open the new NHS Nightingale Hospital North East, in Sunderland via video message.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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