NHS Nightingale opens to serve coronavirus patients across North Somerset
- Credit: PA
A virtual ceremony was held to open the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol on Monday.
The facility will provide up to 300 intensive care beds for coronavirus patients, if services across the region need them.
The hospital was opened by Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex who was joined by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock and Chief Executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens.
The opening was conducted by video link in line with social distancing policies.
A degree of flexibility has been built into the hospital’s planning as the clinical picture and patient requirements evolve, the hospital will be able to adapt accordingly.
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The facility is one of seven Nightingale hospitals to be set up around the country as part of an NHS effort to respond to the greatest global health emergency in more than a century.
This extra capacity is on top of the 33,000 additional beds freed up across NHS hospitals – the equivalent of building 50 district general hospitals – and up to 8,000 beds put at the NHS’s disposal through an unprecedented deal with the independent sector.
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Capacity still exists in hospitals to care for patients with coronavirus, as well as other patients who may need urgent and emergency treatment, with the Nightingales standing ready if local services need them beyond that.
Weston Hospicecare’s family support team (FST) has extended emotional care support to carers, families and friends of patients transferred to the Nightingale.
A hospice spokesman said: “The hospice is leading on this service through its FST and patients may be transferred to the Nightingale from all over the South West of England.
“We are pleased to be working alongside other hospices and organisations to provide the right type of support for those living outside of our local area.
“The FST has also been working with Concierge UK as they are unable to operate in their usual way during the restrictions, they have linked with Tesco to provide voluntary services to the local area.
“Concierge UK can provide support with shopping for groceries for any vulnerable patients and their families who have no other means of shopping.
“Please contact Jen Wakefield at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07976 371087 to make a referral.”