Coronavirus: NHS confirm Nightingale hospital in Harrogate

Coronavirus: NHS confirm Nightingale hospital in Harrogate

Published by May Norman at 5:55am 3rd April 2020.

Harrogate Convention Centre to house 500 beds for coronavirus patients

  • NHS Nightingale in Harrogate's been confirmed by NHS England.
  • Harrogate Convention Centre will be turned into a temporary hospital to help the health service fight coronavirus.
  • Stray FM delivered the news earlier this week but it's only been confirmed by national health bosses.

It's now been confirmed the Harrogate Convention Centre will be turned into an NHS Nightingale Hospital.

The venue will have 500 beds available to coronavirus patients.

Stray FM first broke the news on Tuesday that conference centre is to be transformed into a temporary hospital to help deal with the pandemic.

Today (Friday, 3 April), NHS England has made the announcement.

Harrogate Convention Centre, Hall D
Harrogate Convention Centre, Hall D

Health bosses also announced another Nightingale Hospital in Bristol, which will provide 1,000 beds if local services need them during the peak of coronavirus.

It's in addition to those already in development in Manchester and Birmingham.

London's Excel centre has already been transformed into an NHS Nightingale Hospital which will open to patients today (Friday, 3 April).

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said:

“It’s nothing short of extraordinary that this new hospital in London has been established from scratch in less than a fortnight.

“The NHS, working with the military, has done in a matter of days what usually takes years.

“Now we are gearing up to repeat that feat at another four sites across the country to add to the surge capacity in current NHS hospitals.

“We're giving the go ahead to these additional sites, hoping they may not be needing but preparing in case they are. But that will partly depend on continuing public support for measures to reduce growth in the infection rate by staying at home to save lives.”

Harrogate Convention Centre, Hall Q
Harrogate Convention Centre, Hall Q

NHS Nightingale in Harrogate has been under construction this week with the Army and other workers on site transforming the venue.

It's not clear yet when it is up and running but when it is, it's expected to service coronavirus patients across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Director of Harrogate Convention Centre, Paula Lorimer, said:

“At Harrogate Convention Centre, we are proud to support the NHS and are enormously grateful to, and in awe of, our health and care professionals. They are truly heroic in responding to COVID 19. We, and no doubt the entire town, will do all we can to support their efforts.

We are working closely with our partners and colleagues at Harrogate Borough Council, and I thank them for their support and clear direction on ensuring the challenge of transforming our building is met swiftly.

I would also like to thank all of the staff at the venue, who without hesitation came back to their posts to ensure the Nightingale Harrogate Hospital will open on time.”

Harrogate Convention Centre, Hall M
Harrogate Convention Centre, Hall M

The Nightingales are part of a nationwide effort to respond to the greatest global health emergency in more than a century.

These measures mean that capacity still exists in hospitals to deal with the infection, with the Nightingales standing ready if local services need them beyond that.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“The nation is facing an unprecedented global emergency and we are taking exceptional measures to ensure the NHS has whatever it needs to tackle this virus.

“The NHS and the military have achieved something extraordinary in setting up NHS Nightingale, London in only a matter of days.

“It is testament to their hard work and dedication that an additional four hospitals will be rolled out across the nation.

“We must all play our part to assist our heroes on the health and social care frontline and I urge everyone to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”