UK

Birmingham NEC's NHS Nightingale Hospital To Open On Good Friday

Military personnel have helped convert the NEC into the temporary hospital.

The NHS Nightingale hospital being constructed at Birmingham's NEC is set to become operational on Good Friday.

The temporary hospital which the military have helped create will support the treatment of coronavirus patients.

Armed forces personnel have carried out a range of duties to help the facility open for the public as quickly as possible.

Major Angela Laycock, a chartered civil engineer from 170 Engineer Group, told Forces News: "The thing that the military brought was the speed of planning, so we’re normally thrown into a situation with just some data, gather the facts and come up with the decisions that are required very quickly.

"The NHS staff here, they’ve actually been building hospitals, so they were really well-versed in what was required to build a hospital. Mix those two together and we were able to come up with concept design almost over a weekend."

As well as the design team, the hospital construction crews have been supported by heating and plumbing engineers, medical liaison officers and military planners.

Military personnel outside the Birmingham Nightingale Hospital at the NEC.

One of the main differences between the Birmingham hospital and the London Nightingale site, is the NEC will not look to take ventilated patients, due to capabilities elsewhere in the region.

The NEC will eventually provide up to 4,000 fully-equipped beds ready to support patients with COVID-19 who may no longer need intensive hospital care.

However, initially the hospital will have 496 beds in four 124-bed wards, as well as a 100-bed critical care unit during phase one of the project.

The capacity will grow as the construction project proceeds through two additional phases.

The site will largely cater to over-18s who have been transferred in by ambulance from other trusts, whilst also providing some patients with end of life care.

The workforce will largely be drawn from local trusts and will be supported by a number of military medics who will also tend to patients.

However, the majority will be NHS staff.

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