Yorkshire's Nightingale Hospital yet to take patients as London equivalent mothballed

Harrogate’s Nightingale Hospital stands ready to take patients as London’s equivalent was placed “on standby”, Downing Street has confirmed.

Monday, 4th May 2020, 2:32 pm
Updated Monday, 4th May 2020, 2:34 pm

London’s NHS Nightingale hospital is to stop admitting new patients following limited demand for its services, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said today.

He said that there were no new coronavirus admissions expected at the hospital in east London’s ExCel centre in the coming days.

The Harrogate Nightingale Hospital. Photo: PA

Although it will not accept new patients, the temporary hospital will remain on “standby” should it need to resume operations in the future.

“It’s not likely that in the coming days we will need to be admitting patients to the London Nightingale while coronavirus in the capital remains under control,” the spokesman said.

“That’s obviously a very positive thing and we remain grateful to everybody in London for following the Government’s advice in helping to protect the NHS.

“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.”

But he also said similar sites in Harrogate, Birmingham and Bristol stood ready to accept patients.

Although Yorkshire’s version is yet to have admitted anyone with coronavirus.

The PM’s spokesman said: “Manchester has taken some patients already; Birmingham, Harrogate and Bristol are ready to take patients if needed.

“The other two are Sunderland and Exeter, and they are due to open shortly.”

The fact that the Nightingales have not been “used in a significant way” was “something that is positive and we are grateful to the public for its role in that”.

They were “absolutely not” a waste of money, the spokesman added.

The first patients were admitted to the 4,000 bed capacity London hospital on April 7.

A combination of NHS staff, contractors and up to 200 military personnel took part in the hospital’s construction – which was completed in just nine days.

The hospital, which opened officially on April 3, is being used to treat Covid-19 patients who have been transferred from other intensive care units (ICU) across the capital.

Those admitted to the hospital are already on a ventilator and will remain at the Nightingale until their course of ventilation is finished.

Coronavirus patients suffering from other serious conditions, such as cardiac issues, will be cared for at other specialist centres.

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