NHS Nightingale received its first Coronavirus patients last night, a spokeswoman declined to say exactly how many coronavirus patients have been admitted so far but did stress “there is also treatment capacity available in other hospitals across London.”
Through a massive and combined effort, the temporary 4,000-bed facility was built in just nine days and it will need up to 16,000 staff just to keep it running. It is understood that the patients that were admitted would have already been on a ventilator and will remain in the ExCel Centre until their treatment is finished.
NHS Nightingale has more than 80 wards containing 42 beds each, and Covid-19 patients are being transferred from intensive care units elsewhere in the capital to relieve the congestion as levels build up.
Those also suffering from other serious conditions such as cardiac issues will be cared for at other specialist centres.
Contractors and about 200 military personnel worked to get it running in just over a week, with NHS chief executive Simon Stevens describing their efforts as “nothing short of extraordinary.”
Other Nightingale hospitals are due to open in Bristol, Harrogate, Birmingham and Manchester.
It was confirmed yesterday that another 786 patients have died in the UK after contracting the coronavirus – bringing the total to 6,159.