Pictures of new NHS Nightingale hospital reveal scale of coronavirus crisis

Patrick Grafton-Green, Ewan Somerville
·1-min read
PA
PA

New pictures have been released of the huge 4,000 bed field hospital being built in London in the battle against coronavirus.

NHS Nightingale is being erected with help of the military at the ExCel centre in London’s Docklands.

Images of the rapid effort to build the temporary facility reveal the scale of cases expected in the capital and across the UK over the coming weeks as the pandemic reaches its peak.

Soldiers and contractors are in the process of converting the exhibition centre, which usually hosts spectacles and conferences.

Workers building London's NHS Nightingale hospital (PA)
Workers building London's NHS Nightingale hospital (PA)

Initially 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen will be used to treat the seriously ill, with numbers expected to swell in London ahead of the rest of the nation.

The hospital ultimately has capacity for 4,000 patients across two wards.

The NHS will build more temporary hospitals in Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and Scotland.

The site at London's ExCel centre is usually a huge conference venue (PA)
The site at London's ExCel centre is usually a huge conference venue (PA)

The task of boosting critical care capacity has been underway since the health service declared an emergency at the end of January amid fears Britain had some of the lowest intensive care bed provision in Europe.

But NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens says 33,000 beds are now available for Covid-19 patients.

The next Nightingale hospitals at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham will add an initial 500 beds, with the potential to grow to 2,000 if necessary. One at Manchester Central Convention Complex will add up to 1,000 while another at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium will add up to 2,000.