Ambulance enters NHS Nightingale Hospital London with COVID19 patients 080420 CREDIT POOL.jpg
UK

Coronavirus: London's Nightingale Hospital Treats First Patients

The first wave of patients have arrived at the new facility in London's ExCel Centre, after a rapid build assisted by military personnel.

Ambulance enters NHS Nightingale Hospital London with COVID19 patients 080420 CREDIT POOL.jpg

The new 4,000-bed NHS Nightingale Hospital in east London has begun treating its first coronavirus patients. 

The individuals were admitted on Tuesday evening to the facility in Newham, which members of the Armed Forces helped build in just 9 days to help cope with the outbreak.

A spokeswoman declined to say how many people were being treated at the custom-built field hospital at the ExCeL Centre in the capital’s Docklands.

Opened by Prince Charles on Friday, the hospital requires up to 16,000 members of staff to keep it running. 

Around 200 personnel, including infantry from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, assisted contractors and healthcare staff with its construction, often working 15-hour days.

With more than 80 wards containing 42 beds each, the facility will be used to treat COVID-19 patients who have been transferred from other intensive care units across London.

Those who are admitted to the hospital will already be on a ventilator and will remain at the Nightingale until their course of ventilation is finished, the hospital’s chief medical director has said.

Ambulance arrives at NHS Nightingale London with first patients 080420 CREDIT POOL.jpg
The first patients arrived at NHS Nightingale Hospital in London on Tuesday evening.

NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said the construction of the hospital in London was "nothing short of extraordinary".

He added the UK is "gearing up to repeat that feat" at Nightingale project sites in Birmingham, Harrogate, Bristol and Manchester.

Major Matthew James Fry, the Military Assessment Team Commander for the Manchester hospital, told Forces News: "We will do delivery of infrastructure anywhere in the world on behalf of the MOD, in rapid and austere conditions, so we're well-placed to support the NHS in the delivery of a project such as this."

Once up and running, the hospital will be able to treat up to 750 patients in the north west of the country.

There are currently 2,689 military personnel deployed in response to the pandemic, under the recently formed COVID Support Force.

Cover image: An ambulance arrives at the NHS Nightingale Hospital in east London. 

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