NHS Nightingale during building 270320 CREDIT NUMBER 10:FLICKR.jpg

NHS Nightingale Set To Receive COVID-19 Patients After Week-Long Build

The military has been assisting in the conversion of the ExCel Centre in London to a temporary field hospital, so it can receive patients.

NHS Nightingale during building 270320 CREDIT NUMBER 10:FLICKR.jpg

A temporary hospital, built with the help of the military at the ExCel Centre in east London in the space of a week, will be ready to take its first patients this week. 

NHS Nightingale, a field hospital delivered to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus in the UK, will eventually be able to care for 4,000 people.

Personnel from 1 Royal Anglian, 256 Field Hospital and the Royal Engineers have been deployed to assist staff build the huge facility.

The Ministry of Defence says the forces were also involved in the planning stages of the conversion.

Other hospitals at conference centres in Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, and Glasgow are also on the way.

Standing Joint Commander of the UK COVID Support Force Lieutenant General Ty Urch said the expansion of the Nightingale project is "an absolute necessity at this time".

"The UK Armed Forces will do whatever is required to support the Scottish Government and the Health Services across the United Kingdom during this crisis, and bring this vital capability to wherever it is needed in our combined effort against coronavirus," he added.

Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman has already thanked members of the military for helping to plan the conversion of Glasgow's SEC into a hospital. 

She says forces personnel are also helping with the transfer of 300 beds with a possible total of 1,000 to come.