Coronavirus: London Nightingale hospital ‘on standby’ as no new admissions expected | UK News

The London NHS Nightingale hospital is to be put “on standby” as no new coronavirus admissions are expected in the coming days, Downing Street has said.

The prime minister’s spokesman said the move was due to limited demand.

The temporary hospital was opened on 3 April at London’s ExCel exhibition centre and is able to hold 4,000 patients.

Timelapse: The transformation of ExCeL centre

Built in a fortnight, it is one of a number set up around the country to help the NHS treat COVID-19 patients and take the strain off other hospitals.

The PM’s spokesman said: “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 Nighingale is split into more than 80 wards containing 42 beds each
London Nightingale is split into more than 80 wards, containing 42 beds each
Dozens of service personnel have helped build NHS Nightingale. Pic: MoD
Dozens of service personnel helped build the hospital. Pic: MoD

“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.”

The spokesman said the Nightingale hospitals were “absolutely not” a waste of money.

He said the fact they had so far not been used in a “significant way” was “something positive”.

More than 16,000 members of staff could be needed to run London's new NHS Nightingale Hospital
Beds fill the cavernous exhibition centre as far as the eye can see

“People followed the advice to stay at home, that’s slowed the rate of infection and meant that the NHS wasn’t overwhelmed,” said the PM’s spokesman.

He added: “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.”

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