In a story already unveiled by DevonLive last week, the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Devon and Cornwall will be created to help the country fight COVID-19.
This was confirmed by Ruth May, NHS head nurse for England, as she spoke alongside the Secretary of Health, Matt Hancock, and the Deputy Chief Physician, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam.
So what do we know about this new hospital?
He will be based at Westpoint Arena, on the outskirts of the city, near Clyst St Mary. Westpoint – the site of the annual Devon County Show – is the largest exhibit and entertainment venue in the South West with a covered venue that can accommodate up to 7,500 people. It is located near Exeter Airport.
The site – as well as the Sunderland site which has also been confirmed today – is expected to be operational in late April or early May and will add up to 700 beds for local service use if necessary.
The army helps build both.
Beds for 200
The NHS Nightingale North East will have up to 450 beds initially, and the NHS Nightingale Exeter will add approximately 200.
The military helped set up Nightingale Hospital in London, which so far has 500 beds in place and space for 3,500 others.
Similar hospitals are also opening at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham and the central complex in Manchester.
In Bristol, 1,000 beds will be available at the University of the West of England.
The hospital will help “defeat the virus”
East Devon MP Simon Jupp said: “I warmly welcome the plans for the new NHS Nightingale Exeter hospital based in Westpoint in East Devon.
“The additional 200 beds will ensure that our superb local NHS is as prepared as possible to fight the virus.
“Opening in early May, the new Nightingale Exeter Hospital builds on existing plans to increase the capacity of intensive care in Devon hospitals.
“We must all play our part by staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives. “
Sir Simon Stevens, Director General of the NHS, said: “These hospitals will provide assistance and support to NHS hospitals in the south-west and north-east, if necessary.
“Our local health staff rightly recommended that we go ahead with these additional facilities. But our ambition as a country must be to stay at home to reduce infections and save lives – so that the need to actually use these Nightingale hospitals is as limited as possible. ”
Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, said: “As the NHS faces the greatest health challenge in its history, we support patients and staff with additional capacity in the seven future NHS hospitals Nightingale. “
“The new sites – including the two announced today in Sunderland and Exeter – will give the NHS the best chance of ensuring that patients with coronavirus requiring specialized care can get it wherever they live. “