The new Nightingale Hospital shows the scale of UK’s coronavirus outbreak: here’s everything we know about it

The NHS, military and other sectors have come together in an extraordinary display on teamwork.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The coronavirus outbreak in the UK has quickly reached high numbers, with an estimated (at the time of writing) 33,000 cases, and 2,921 deaths as a result of the virus.

The pandemic has had an enormous impact on society, having hugely detrimental effects on the economy, lifestyles and, of course, the health of the nation.

In order to help fight against the virus, a new hospital has been set up in London, to help deal with patients who will need professional medical treatment after contracting the virus.

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It is called the Nightingale Hospital, and has been opened today - by none other than Prince Charles.

The Prince of Wales made history today (opens in new tab) as the first ever royal to open something via live video-link, from his home in Scotland - Birkhall (opens in new tab).

He said of the hospital, "It is symbolic of the selfless care and devoted service taking place in innumerable settings, with countless individuals, throughout the United Kingdom."

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Lee Chambers, an environmental psychologist, believes that the Nightingale Hospital will indeed offer some reassurance to the British public. He said, “It does reinforce that the state is being proactive and it does convey the message that even less serious cases will be given medical attention."

What is the Nightingale hospital?

The Nightingale hospital is a new, temporary set up at the ExCel centre in London (located in the Docklands area), which will tend to patients with COVID-19.

It will be led by the NHS, with NHS workers stationed there, and the BBC report that it will have around 4,000 beds available.

The building of the new hospital has been an extraordinary feat.

Military personnel from the Ministry of Defence, construction workers, lorry drivers, volunteers and many more came together to help put the hospital together, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealing that it took just nine days to build.

Who will be treated at the new Nightingale hospital?

The hospital will only see patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

However, reports so far have stated that the field hospital will treat less severe coronavirus cases, such as people who were generally fit and healthy before their diagnosis, or younger people.

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But, these will still be people who need intensive care for the virus, but will be people with the best chances of survival.

This means that patients with a potentially more severe illness can be treated at a normal NHS hospital.

Who will provide care the the Nightingale hospital?

NHS doctors and nurses will be working at the new field hospital. But they aren't the only ones who will be deployed to the Nightingale hospital.

It's been confirmed that many EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic staff will also be working there after 100 volunteered interest. They will be paid by the airlines - it comes after huge amounts of flights have been cancelled during the coronavirus outbreak, across the world.

The NHS has reassured that many of these airline staff are first aid trained, and will be performing mostly non-clinical tasks, such as changing bed sheets, and assisting doctors and nurses.

They will also be given further expert training, and will always be under the guidance of trained nurses.

More than 750 St John's Ambulance staff will also help at the Nightingale hospital, after offering up their services.

Will anymore emergency hospitals be built to help deal with coronavirus?

Three more temporary hospitals are set to be built in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, with the NHS still looking at potential sites for the latter.

The National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham has been confirmed as a temporary hospital site, and will have 5,000 beds. It is set to be ready mid-April.

Manchester's temporary COVID-19 hospital will be at the Central Convention Complex, and will house 500 beds, with the capacity to expand to 1,000.

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on