Why are the nightingale hospitals all empty? The London unit is still just "on standby" despite London being embroiled in Tier 4 measures and Christmas canceled due to rising cases
- Nightingale hospitals in London, Birmingham and Sunderland are on standby.
- The Manchester location is open for Covid-free care, while Bristol is open for on-site care
- Seven Nightingale hospitals were built for £ 220 million in the first wave of the crisis
Nightingale hospitals built during Covid-19's initial lockdown remain on standby despite parts of England falling under draconian Tier 4 measures.
ExCeL London makeshift hospital, which was the first to be opened by NHS England in crisis, is lurking alongside medical centers in Birmingham and Sunderland, the Sun reported on Sunday.
The Manchester location is open to "non-Covid care," said NHS England, while Exeter and Harrogate are open as "specialist diagnostic centers" and Bristol is open to "local NHS services".
Hospitals have been suspected to be largely deserted, despite Boris Johnson's dramatic decision to topple a third of hospitals in England under strict Tier 4 measures as of Sunday.
ExCeL London temporary hospital (pictured), the first to be built by NHS England in crisis, is on standby alongside medical centers in Birmingham and Sunderland
Pictured: Beds at NHS Nightingale Hospital in east London after it opened this spring
The new restrictions will apply just days before the Prime Minister's five-day easing of the “Christmas bubble” begins on December 23 in London and the South East.
At the highest level, the British were advised not to mingle with anyone outside their own household over the holidays – with the "bubble" window shortened to one day for the rest of England.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "We are facing the next NHS coronavirus crisis as hospital wards struggle without enough doctors, nurses and medical staff."
"It's all very well. The ministers tell us that they have nightingales, but if they cannot adequately staff the existing wards, how can they guarantee enough doctors and nurses for the nightingales?"
"Unfortunately, our health and care service is trying to cope with the years of Tory cuts and staff shortages."
The Manchester location (pictured) is open to "non-Covid care" according to NHS England, while Exeter and Harrogate are open as "specialist diagnostic centers" and Bristol are open to "local NHS services".
NHS services are reportedly facing a shortage of 87,000 staff as the UK goes through a harsh winter amid the pandemic.
Nightingale Hospital in East London has space for 4,000 beds. The Manchester facility can accommodate up to 750 patients.
Last month it was reported that fewer than 30 people were being treated at the UK's seven Nightingale hospitals in mid-November.
Coronavirus cases rose 25 percent last Saturday. 27,052 infections have been reported across the UK.
The latest numbers show that 534 people died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus – 14 more than last Saturday and 45 more than Friday.
The total number of laboratory-confirmed cases has exceeded two million since the March outbreak, according to the government's dashboard.
In the first wave of the pandemic, seven Nightingale hospitals were built for £ 220 million.
However, the NHS was largely able to deal with it, leaving only two with around 200 people treated.
It has been speculated that the nightingales could be used as centers for vaccination.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Messages (t) Boris Johnson (t) NHS (t) NHS Nightingale Hospitals