ExCeL London is to be turned into a temporary hospital to provide support for thousands more patients during the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS England has announced…
As of next week, the large-scale events venue will become the NHS Nightingale Hospital, London, initially providing up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen. The capacity will then continue to increase, potentially up to several thousand beds, should it be required.
Jeremy Rees, CEO, ExCeL London, said:
Our thoughts and sympathies are with those who are personally affected by this situation. It is crucial that everyone plays their part in the national effort, working with the government to combat the spread of Covid-19 and save lives.
We are proud to be able to accommodate the increasing demand for hospital beds and will work with the NHS to facilitate this request. The team at ExCeL London will ensure that we work with the government and relevant authorities to support their efforts in seeing the British people and the UK through this unprecedented crisis.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens stated:
This will be a model of care never needed or seen before in this country, but our specialist doctors are in touch with their counterparts internationally who are also opening facilities like this, in response to the shared global pandemic.
Despite these amazing measures, the fact is no health service in the world will cope if Covid-19 lets rip, which is why NHS staff are pleading with the public to follow medical advice – stay at home, stop the virus spreading, and save lives.
Military personnel have been involved in the planning stages and continue to support NHS England by providing infrastructure, logistics and project management advice. The Armed Forces have already been distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to meet the increased demand and we stand ready to assist further in any capacity needed.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: “The NHS and our Armed Forces are both world leaders in their fields, and this ambitious project is just one example of what can be achieved when they come together to help the nation.”