Less than three weeks since work first started, NHS Nightingale Hospital North West officially opened in central Manchester, to provide care for hundreds of patients with Covid-19 from across the region.
Many organisations have come together to build a new hospital at the Manchester Central Convention Centre in just two weeks. The hospital will provide the best possible care for patients with Covid-19 from across the region, and will help save lives. Some patients have already been admitted as the hospital opens on a gradual and safe basis over the coming days and weeks.
Modelling 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. Patients will be transferred from the North West’s hospitals’ critical care units and wards directly to the new hospital.
The new temporary hospital is one of seven Nightingale hospitals to be set up around the country as part of a massive NHS effort to respond to the greatest global health emergency in more than a century.
Michael McCourt, Chief Executive of NHS Nightingale Hospital North West, said:
“Building this hospital in just a couple of weeks has taken the determination and boundless energy of people from many organisations who have come together to ensure our NHS has the necessary capacity during the pandemic, in what is an unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis. We have many people to thank for their efforts including the NHS, the army, the fire service, police, Network Rail, construction partners, Manchester Foundation Trust, Manchester City Council and of course the Manchester Central Convention Centre itself in which the hospital is based. Thank you too to the many local businesses which have provided goods and services to help us get up and running.
“We now need to focus our efforts on providing the best possible care for our patients, and continue to support the hospitals in the North West to save lives.
There are enough of the highest-level critical care beds available in existing hospitals across the North West to meet the expected peak demand, with the Nightingale providing 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. An initial 36 beds will be available, but this could be expanded up to 750 if this is needed.”
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.”
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.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:
“It’s with considerable pride that we have been able to play our part in transforming Manchester Central into a Nightingale Hospital for the North West. With the first patients receiving treatment this week we can reflect on what an incredible achievement this has been, working closely with our NHS and military colleagues.Of course we hope as few of the 750 beds will be needed as possible, but we should take reassurance that the resource is there to help ease the pressure on our hospitals as we tackle the Covid-19 outbreak. A heartfelt thank you must go to those who have made this transformation possible, and to those who will help care for people in Manchester in the coming weeks.”