Site Logo
Eight new Nightingale hospitals planned as Omicron variant sweeps the UK

Temporary wards will be built in grounds of eight hospitals

Eight new Nightingale hospitals are being planned. Pictured, Nightingale Hospital London (BDP)
Eight new Nightingale hospitals are being planned. Pictured, Nightingale Hospital London (BDP)

The NHS is planning eight new temporary Nightingale hospitals across England following an increase in cases of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Staff worked over Christmas on the plans to create 4,000 ‘super surge’ beds across NHS England hospitals.

The temporary structures will be capable of housing around 100 patients and will be erected in the grounds of the Royal Preston Hospital; St James’ Hospital, Leeds; Solihull Hospital; Leicester General Hospital; Lister Hospital, Stevenage; St George’s Hospital in London; William Harvey Hospital, Ashford; and Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

If hospitals need to activate the new beds after exhausting every other option, equipment previously used for the original Nightingale hospitals will be rapidly distributed to them.

Help at hand

The facilities will take patients who, although not fit for discharge, need minimal support and monitoring while they recover from illness, freeing up regular ward beds to provide care for those with more-intensive needs.

Patients may include those recovering from COVID-19 who are no longer infectious and do not need intensive oxygen therapy.

The units would be led by hospital consultants and nurses, but with other clinical and non-clinical staff brought in with rapid training to be able to perform routine checks and other tasks.

Given the high level of COVID-19 infections and increasing hospital admissions, the NHS is now on a war footing

And siting them in hospital grounds will make it easier to flex staff and equipment if there is a surge in admissions.

NHS trusts have also been asked to identify areas such as gyms and education centres that can be converted to accommodate surge patients, and more Nightingale sites could be added in the coming months to create additional beds.

The move comes as hospitals are using hotels, hospices, and care homes to safely discharge as many people who are medically fit to leave.

NHS national medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “Given the high level of COVID-19 infections and increasing hospital admissions, the NHS is now on a war footing.

Preparing for the worst

“We do not yet know exactly how many of those who catch the virus will need hospital treatment, but given the number of infections we cannot wait to find out before we act and so work is beginning from today to ensure these facilities are in place.

“We hoped never to have to use the original Nightingales, and I hope we never to have to use these new hubs.”

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, added: “We’ve backed the NHS at every turn throughout this pandemic to make sure it provides the care and treatment people need.

“We hope the Nightingale surge hubs at hospitals will not have to be used, but it is absolutely right that we prepare for all scenarios and increase capacity.”

Related Stories
Construction industry comes together to make history
UK manufacturers and design teams have been at the forefront of the country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The healthcare building forum has been postponed to 18th & 19th March 2021
The healthcare building forum has been postponed to 18th & 19th March 2021 so It is not too late to register for your complimentary place and join a wide range of companies. If you are from the NHS trust, council, contractor, healthcare lead architect, care home designer, working on existing healthcare projects and looking to extend your supply chain.
Morgan Sindall Construction wins £19m contract at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospita
Morgan Sindall Construction has won a £19m contract to deliver an extension and programme of improvements to the emergency department at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust selected its main contractor for the scheme through the Southern Construction Framework; a collaborative delivery vehicle run by Hampshire and Devon County councils. Plans were submitted to expand the hospital’s busy A&E last year, due to significant service pressures.  The new build will hel...
Work due to start on Salford trauma hospital
NCA chief executive, Raj Jain, said: “This important facility has been many years in the planning with a number of our local, regional and national partners, and it’s great to now be just weeks away from the official start date of construction.” Rob Bailey, BAM’s healthcare construction manager, adds: “We have worked extensively on the design and programme with the trust to understand fully what its requirements are and to focus completely on what matters to them – providing a high-quality building in wh...
New leadership for new hospitals projects
  The Government’s commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030 has been boosted by the appointment of Natalie Forrest to oversee the construction programme. Forrest has worked in the NHS for over 30 years and is a registered nurse. She most recently led the construction and operationalisation of NHS Nightingale London in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside this role, she was also Chase Farm Hospital’s chief executive, where she successfully led operational and clinical teams to design an inno...

Login / Sign up