NHS Nightingale Hospital opens at ExCeL to fight coronavirus

NHS England has announced that a new hospital, based at the ExCeL conference centre in East London, will open to provide support for thousands more patients with coronavirus.

It is hoped that the hospital, which will initially provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen, will be ready for use from next week. After that, the capacity will then continue to increase, potentially up to several thousand beds, should it be required.

The NHS Nightingale Hospital will draw nurses, doctors and other staff from across the health service, as well as a number of military medics will also tend to patients. The majority will be NHS staff.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: “Under these exceptionally challenging circumstances the NHS is taking extraordinary steps to fight coronavirus. That’s why NHS clinicians and managers are working with military planners and engineers to create, equip, staff and open the NHS Nightingale London, and we’re very grateful for their support.

“This will be a model of care never needed or seen before in this country, but our specialist doctors are in touch with their counterparts internationally who are also opening facilities like this, in response to the shared global pandemic. Despite these amazing measures, the fact is no health service in the world will cope if coronavirus lets rip, which is why NHS staff are pleading with the public to follow medical advice – stay at home, stop the virus spreading, and save lives.”

Cleaning, portering, waste management and other ‘soft’ FM services at the new hospital will be delivered by ISS. Craig Smith, head of corporate affairs at ISS, revealed that a specialist ISS Training Academy has been created onboard the Sunborn Yacht Hotel, adjacent to the Exhibition Centre, where all facilities management staff will receive the appropriate training before entering the new hospital.

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