Birmingham Nightingale Hospital will be operational in a few days

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The Nightingale Hospital under construction at NEC Birmingham will be open and fully operational on April 12, said regional health chiefs.

There will be a “mock-up” on April 10, with doors open to patients two days later.

The site on the outskirts of Birmingham, just off the M42, will initially have a capacity of 500 beds, which can be extended to around 1,500 or more if necessary.

Coronavirus - Fri 3 Apr 2020
Friday, NHS Nightingale Hospital of ExCel in London (Stefan Rousseau / PA)

Nick Page, of the West Midlands and Warwickshire Strategic Coordination Group (SCG), said the hospital will begin “full admission” by the end of next week.

On Friday, at a webinar of regional heads of municipal services, health and transportation, Mr. Page, executive director of the Solihull council, said: “On April 10, Birmingham Nightingale Hospital will be ready to receive patients.

“If I understand correctly, they will organize the model on April 10, ready to start full admission around April 12. “

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA graphics)

He added that Birmingham’s first Covid-19 test station for NHS workers is being installed at Edgbaston Cricket Ground and will be fully operational on Monday.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said that following a call to health leaders earlier Friday, no other test sites are expected to open in the area – but added, “They are looking to change that very soon. “

The NHS Nightingale Hospital in London was officially opened at the ExCel center on Friday by the Prince of Wales, who spoke via video link from Balmoral.

Edgbaston test center
Covid-19 test center for NHS staff in Edgbaston expected to open Monday (Jacob King / PA)

The facility, named after nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, will need an army of up to 16,000 staff in clinical and auxiliary roles to keep it running.

Divided into 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.

It was set up by NHS contractors in just over a week with the help of about 200 soldiers.

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