NHS plans Nightingale hospital for Exeter
A temporary NHS Nightingale hospital is set to open in Exeter at the beginning of May, to help the fight against COVID-19.
Work has already begun on the site of the makeshift hospital, according to Ruth May, NHS Chief Nursing Officer for England. The site is Westpoint Arena, the largest exhibition and entertainment venue in the Southwest, with a standing capacity of 7,500 people, situated on the outskirts of Exeter, near Clyst St Mary.
NHS Nightingale Exeter will be one of seven temporary hospitals built in just a few weeks to ease the strain put on the NHS by the Coronavirus pandemic. Adding 200 beds to be used by the local services, it brings the initial number of extra beds to over 3,600 nationally, with the possibility for more.
The set-up of Exeter’s new facility has been led by Philippa Slinger, an experienced NHS chief executive.
“our new NHS Nightingale Hospital will ensure we have the right critical care capacity in place to help us manage the expected upsurge in cases.”Philippa Slinger
While the Government’s rules for lockdown and social distancing hope to cut numbers of infection, Nightingales have proved crucial to the nationwide effort against COVID-19. Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, says “these hospitals will provide backup and support for NHS hospitals” around the country.
Editor: Elen Johnston