Less than three weeks since work first started, NHS Nightingale Hospital North West officially opens today, 17 April, inside Manchester Central, to provide care for hundreds of patients with Covid-19 from across the region.
Some patients have already been admitted as the hospital opens on a gradual basis over the coming days and weeks.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “The opening of the Nightingale North West in the heart of Manchester is an amazing achievement and my sincere thanks go to all those in Greater Manchester and beyond who have worked night and day to make it a reality – from construction, logistics, cleaners, Fire, Police and Military staff to medical expertise. You truly are the best of Britain.
“If the rules allowed, I would be at the door to shake the hand of each and every member of staff for the care you are about to give and for the work you are doing. Everyone involved in this fantastic facility are history makers and you will always have our respect and admiration for the sacrifices you are making to help our country through this crisis.”
Forecasts for the need for extra beds in the North West predicts that the peak need for the highest-level critical care beds can be met by existing hospitals if the new hospital provides additional capacity for lower-level care. The NHS Nightingale Hospital North West will provide both oxygen therapy and general medical care for COVID-19 patients who do not need critical care, and can look after up to 750 patients at full capacity.
Shaun Hinds, Chief Executive of Manchester Central, said: “It has been a real privilege to be part of the team that has delivered the hospital from start to finish in such a short space of time. The transformation of the venue from an iconic events space into a fully functioning hospital ready to receive patients is remarkable and another significant milestone in its history.
“It’s incredible that this facility now exists to support the North West in its fight against Covid-19 and I wish all the patients who are cared for at the hospital a speedy and full recovery. There is an amazing team of care staff and frontline workers looking after them and I continue to extend my heartfelt thanks to them, and to the entire NHS, for their inspiring efforts during this time.”