London’s Nightingale hospital will be closed to new patients but will be ready if new coronavirus outbreak strikes, it has been revealed today.
Chief executive, Professor Charles Knight, told staff the hospital would be placed on standby, “ready to resume operations as and when needed in the weeks and potentially months to come.”
The facility at the ExCeL Centre in east London opened on April 3 and has the capacity to provide around 4,000 beds.
But it has remained largely empty, with just 51 patients treated in its first three weeks.
Professor Knight told them today: “Thanks to the determination of Londoners following expert advice to stay home and save lives, we haven’t had to expand Nightingale’s capacity.
“Our appreciation to all who have been involved in making the Nightingale a key part of the NHS’ whole London Covid-19 response.
“This is a significant point in how the NHS is managing this pandemic. It does not mean our role in London’s response to the virus is over.”