NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham set for opening

The NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham, based at the NEC, is expected to take its first patients within a week.

The new temporary hospital will provide an initial 500 fully equipped beds to support patients suffering from Covid-19 who may no longer need intensive hospital care, while also being able to scale up to 4,000 beds if needed.

The NHS Nightingale Hospitals – also in London, Manchester, Harrogate and Bristol – are part of a nationwide effort to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr David Rosser, chief executive, UHB, observed the “extraordinary effort” in creating the Nightingale Hospital Birmingham.

He said: “Without this collective purpose we would not have been able to make the staggering preparations to deliver this facility.

“At the same time, we have continued to see and treat patients at our other four hospitals to ensure continuity of care across the system, despite the huge challenges.

“The progress made on this site in just a few days, to turn it from a vast warehouse into an operational patient facility is quite unbelievable. It’s yet another example of the NHS and UHB pulling out all the stops alongside our military, ambulance, contractor and NEC partners to make this happen.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive, Anthony Marsh, added that local crews will be on hand to take people home or onto other care facilities once they have recovered sufficiently.

He noted: “The fact that we have been able to set this up as quickly as we have is another example of the way our staff are going above and beyond on a daily basis to ensure we can help as many patients as possible and save lives.”

CEO of the NEC Group, Paul Thandi, said: “It is our honour as a company and workforce to step forward to help our country’s fight against the life threatening virus Covid-19.

“All teams involved have worked seamlessly alongside our brilliant NHS and the MoD to deliver this facility, and we stand ready to continue playing our part in the NHS’s fight to save the lives of our families, friends and fellow citizens.”

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