Only 19 patients treated over Easter weekend at NHS Nightingale 4,000-bed hospital in London


The new NHS Nightingale 4,000-bed temporary hospital in east London treated only 19 patients over the Easter weekend, it emerged.

The leaked data shows that the tiny handful of patients were treated in the massive overflow center, as the intensive care capacity of existing London hospitals has never exceeded 80%.

This comes when an NHS chief in the north-east of England predicted that the Nightingale Hospital under construction would probably not be needed.

Occupying London’s Excel conference and event center, the NHS Nightingale London was built in just nine days after a massive operation involving military planners.

Comprising 2,900 intensive care beds, it is primarily intended to be an intensive care facility for the critically ill but stable Covid-19 patients who have been transferred from permanent hospitals in London.

It was ordered in March after scenes in northern Italy raised officials’ concerns that the capital’s intensive care units, comprising approximately 770 beds, would be overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

However, in parallel with the construction of the Docklands Field Hospital, the NHS has also doubled its intensive care capacity at its pre-existing 1,555-bed locations.

Now, Health Services Journal reports that he saw data showing that during the four holidays, only 19 patients were treated at an 87,328 square meter site.

The same data showed that 1,245 intensive care beds in permanent hospitals were occupied on Easter Sunday.

He also reportedly found that South West London had the largest available capacity, with 67% of intensive care beds occupied on Sunday. At the Croydon Health Services Trust, only 46% of the 37 intensive care beds were occupied.

The small number of admissions to the Nightingale facility may be due in part to strict entry criteria, which exclude the most fragile patients.

Open virtually by the Prince of Wales, the hospital is designed for younger, fitter patients with coronavirus.

However, separate documents released earlier this month revealed that planners still expect one in five patients to die.

NHS England said this week that the current bed situation in London confirms the “continued success” of its preparations.

Meanwhile, the boss of NHS Nightingale in the northeast said the installation would not be necessary if people maintain social distancing rules.

Workers have transformed an empty unit near the Nissan car plant into a 460-bed facility, which could be ready for patients at the end of the month.

But Washington Nightingale, Tyne and Wear Hospital will only open its doors to patients if hospitals in the Northeast are unable to cope with the influx of coronavirus patients.

Martin Wilson, chief operating officer of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees the project, said he did not think it would happen.

“I don’t think we will have to open,” he said. “If people can all play their part in social isolation, if a vaccine arrives, I hope we don’t need to open. If we do, we will be ready. “

Six other NHS Nightingale hospitals have been announced so far – in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Harrogate and Exeter.

The new Manchester Conference Center building is expected to operate on a significantly different model from that of London, primarily comprising “top-down” beds for Covid-19 patients on their way out of hospital.

Responding to leaked data from London, a spokesperson for NHS England said: “Although the data cited here is not complete and validated, it confirms the continuing success of ensuring that we have the capacity available to care for patients who need our care, which has been one of our overall operational goals since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. “


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