London’s Nightingale Hospital put ‘on standby’ as new coronavirus cases plummet

London’s Nightingale Hospital put ‘on standby’ as new coronavirus cases plummet

The Nightingale Hospital in London, located at the ExCel centre, will be placed “on standby” with no new coronavirus admissions expected in the coming days, Downing Street has said. The facility was the first of a string of Nightingale hospitals to open across the UK in response to the pandemic. It was formally opened on April 3 and has the capacity to treat 4,000 coronavirus patients.

Prince Charles officially opened the hospital via video-link, having just recovered from the virus himself.

Currently just 20 patients are being treated there, according to the BBC.

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.

“As the Prime Minister has said, we are now past the first peak in coronavirus cases and the NHS is therefore moving into the second phase of its response to this global pandemic.

“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.

“As a result, after the last of this our first group of patients leaves, the hospital will be placed on standby, ready to resume operations as and when needed in the weeks and potentially months to come.

“So this does not mean our role in London’s response to the virus is over.

“We must be ready for the possibility that the number of COVID-19 cases rise again if and when the Government eases social distancing rules.

“That is why the London Nightingale will stand ready should it again be needed.”

The London Hospital was set up to act as a dedicated intensive care unit for coronavirus patients.

It took just nine days to equip the hospital with beds and ventilators, with help from the Army.

When the pandemic first took hold in the UK, it was feared the virus would overwhelm London hospitals and the NHS.

More to follow…

Published at Mon, 04 May 2020 12:12:00 +0000