Two NHS Nightingale hospitals are to be built in Bristol and Harrogate, NHS England has announced.
NHS chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, confirmed that the hospitals will provide up to 1,500 beds.
Such sites are being built to add ‘surge capacity’ to existing hospitals and local services should they need them during the peak of coronavirus.
The University of the West of England in Bristol will have a capacity of 1,000 patients whereas the Harrogate Convention centre will be able to care for up to 500.
The hospitals will serve their surrounding regions.
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said:
“We’re giving the go ahead to these additional sites, hoping they may not be needing but preparing in case they are. But that will partly depend on continuing public support for measures to reduce growth in the infection rate by staying at home to save lives.”
The announcement comes as London’s NHS Nightingale hospital opens today, the site has a capacity of 3,500 patients and covers 90,000 square meters, the equivalent of roughly a dozen football pitches.
Sir Stevens, said: “It’s nothing short of extraordinary that this new hospital in London has been established from scratch in less than a fortnight.”
“Now we are gearing up to repeat that feat at another four sites across the country to add to the surge capacity in current NHS hospitals.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“The NHS and the military have achieved something extraordinary in setting up NHS Nightingale, London in only a matter of days .It is testament to their hard work and dedication that an additional four hospitals will be rolled out across the nation.”
On Wednesday, the Health Secretary posted a video to social media thanking everyone involved.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) April 1, 2020