Home World Nightingale Hospital in London ‘placed on standby’

Nightingale Hospital in London ‘placed on standby’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock and NHS staff stand on marks on the ground, put in place to ensure social distancing guidelines are adhered to, at the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel centre in London

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PA Media

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Officials, including Health Secretary Matt Hancock, were at the opening of the hospital on 3 April

The Nightingale Hospital in London is expected to be placed on standby in the coming days, and will no longer be admitting patients.

The hospital, which opened on 3 April with 4,000 beds to treat Covid-19 patients, could resume operations again if needed.

Fewer than 20 patients are being treated there at present, the BBC understands.

Staff will be redeployed, but some equipment will stay at the hospital.

In a briefing to staff, Charles Knight, CEO of the Nightingale London, said: “Thanks to the determination and sacrifice of Londoners in following the expert advice to stay home and save lives we have not had to expand the Nightingale’s capacity beyond the first ward.

He added: “It is likely that in the coming days we will not need to be admitting patients to the London Nightingale, while coronavirus in the capital remains under control.”

The hospital, which was formerly a large exhibition space in London’s Docklands, will stand ready to be used again “as and when needed in the weeks and potentially months to come”, Mr Knight said.

The Prime Minister said last week that the UK was “past the peak” in coronavirus cases.

The NHS is now moving into the second phase of its response to the global pandemic.

What’s in the Nightingale?

The 87,328 square metres of double exhibition halls were fitted out with the framework for about 80 wards, each with 42 beds.

Some 500 fully-equipped beds, with oxygen and ventilators, were put in place with space for another 3,500.

If it did reach capacity, it would have been one of the largest hospitals in the world.

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