NEC atrium
Soon the familiar walkways and halls of the NEC will be transformed into a field hospital

NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens has confirmed that the new ‘NHS Nightingale’ hospitals are being built in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Manchester’s Central Convention Centre, with more field hospitals expected to follow.

It comes as the government confirmed that the rate of COVID-19 infections is “doubling every three to four days” in today’s daily press briefing.

The NHS Nightingale Hospitals are temporary large-scale critical care hospitals being retrofitted into giant conference and exhibition centres to help increase capacity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Once completed and fully operational, these hospitals will be the largest hospitals found in the UK.

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The first NHS Nightingale Hospital being set up is in London at the ExCel London exhibition centre in Canning Town, where several companies in the sector have been busy installing vital equipment required to care for patients.

Set to be opened next week for the first 500 patients, the Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel London is expected to have up to 4,000 beds when fully operational, according to the Health & Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

With the number of cases steadily rising, however, NHS England has taken the step to create two more of the make-shift field hospitals across the Midlands and the North of England.

Military planners at the Ministry of Defence are helping NHS England to quickly build the giant hospitals.

In the daily coronavirus briefing on the 27th March, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS said: “The health service is making an extraordinary effort right across this country – that is why staff are pulling out all the stops in an unprecedented response to this global health crisis.

“As of today, across England, we have reconfigured hospital services so that 33.000 beds are there to treat further coronavirus patients.

“It’s also why we are taking the extraordinary action to build new hospitals in very short order, starting with the NHS Nightingale hospital in East London, and today I have given the go-ahead to the building of two more NHS Nightingale hospitals – beginning at the Birmingham NEC and the Manchester central convention centre, with more hospitals to follow.”

Standing at almost double the size of the ExCel, many in the industry will be familiar with the NEC as the venue for popular shows in the sector, including the OT Show and Naidex, which was scheduled to take place in March before being postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Within weeks, the halls of the NEC will be unrecognisable as it is transformed into a field hospital with treatment wards and, sadly, morgues.

In a statement released earlier in the week, NEC Group Chief Executive Paul Thandi said: “As a cornerstone of the local community, we are committed to playing our part in ensuring the health and wellbeing of everyone in our area.

“As such, we stand ready and willing to help our emergency services – especially at a time like this.”

The announcements come as both prime minister Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock have both confirmed they have contracted COVID-19.

https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/NEC-atrium.jpg?fit=900%2C558&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/NEC-atrium.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettCoronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Sector NewsNewsroomNHSSector NewsBoris Johnson,field hospitals,Manchester Centre,Manchester Centre Conference Complex,Matt Hancock,National Exhibition Centre.,NEC,NHS England,Nightingal,pandemic,Paul ThandiNHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens has confirmed that the new ‘NHS Nightingale’ hospitals are being built in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Manchester’s Central Convention Centre, with more field hospitals expected to follow. It comes as the government confirmed that the rate of COVID-19 infections is “doubling every...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals