NHS emergency hospital may never have to open if social distancing continues


The new 460-bed hospital is under construction in an empty facility near the Nissan auto plant in Washington, Tyne and Wear.

But it will only open if hospitals in the Northeast find they are unable to cope with the number of Covid-19 patients.

According to reports, Martin Wilson, director of operations for the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said, “I don’t think we will have to open.

“If people can all play their part in social isolation, if a vaccine arrives, I hope we don’t need to open. “

But he added, “If we do, we will be ready. “

If the unit, which belongs to the Sunderland Council, opens, it will be staffed by local employees of the NHS trust.

The unit was to be a manufacturing innovation center used by the universities of Newcastle and Sunderland.

Sky News reports that visitors to the hospital will not be allowed to see the patients, although there are plans to set up a 24-hour phone line to call for updates.

The temporary hospital is one of six other NHS Nightingale hospitals that have been announced across the UK.

It is understood that there must be sites in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Harrogate and Exeter, as well as the site of Tyne and Wear.

Meanwhile, only 19 patients were treated in London’s huge NHS Nightingale hospital over the Easter weekend, as the capacity of intensive care in London hospitals did not exceed 80%, according to the Telegraph.

However, the HSJ reports that a low number of temporary site admissions can be influenced by the strict rules on which patients are allowed to be admitted.

These rules would state that the London Nightingale site will receive “lower risk” Covid-19 patients, and frail or elderly patients are less likely to be admitted.

The London-based NHS Nightingale site, based in the ExCel arena, was launched by Prince Charles on April 3 and was the first field hospital for coronaviruses in the UK.

The London site, which was built in just nine days as an overflow facility for London hospitals, has a capacity of 4,000 beds.

And the HSJ reports that existing hospitals have been able to double their capacity for intensive care.

There have been a total of 93,873 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK and 12,107 deaths, according to the latest government figures.

There were 778 new deaths on April 13, up from 717 the day before.

However, this is down from a peak of 980 deaths on April 10.

Some countries around the world are beginning to relax the lockdown restrictions as their respective new cases begin to drop.

Sky News reports that Spain recorded its lowest daily growth in Covid-19 confirmed infection in three weeks on Monday, while the country allowed some non-essential workers to return to work.

And today, Denmark will reopen schools for young children and daycare centers as hospitalizations continue, reports Reuters.

Meanwhile, in Austria, some stores, including garden centers and DIY stores, have been allowed to reopen, as long as strict social distancing measures are in place.


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