Bristol’s Nightingale Hospital to be officially opened in virtual ceremony

A new NHS Nightingale Hospital is to officially open in Bristol on Monday, providing up to 300 intensive care beds for coronavirus patients.

The facility, based at the University of the West of England’s Frenchay campus, is one of seven Nightingale Hospitals to be set up around the country.

It will be opened by the Earl of Wessex, who will be joined by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Simon Stevens, the chief executive of the NHS.

A patient bay at the hospital (NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol/PA)
A patient bay at the hospital (NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol/PA)

The opening, on Monday afternoon, will be conducted by video link in line with social distancing policies.

Mr Hancock said: “It is testament to the tireless work of the NHS clinicians, builders, architects and military planners involved that the NHS now has another vital piece in its response to this virus – NHS Nightingale Bristol.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our health and social care staff who will be working at NHS Nightingale Bristol, serving people locally and providing vital extra capacity for local hospitals should it be needed.

“We all continue to have a role to play in staying home to support our NHS and save lives.”

The NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol, run by North Bristol NHS Trust, will provide 300 fully-ventilated additional beds if local services require them.

This is six times the intensive care capacity of a large hospital in the south west.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh are trained & ready to support #NHS colleagues @NightingaleBRS 👇

— Army Media Office SW (@ArmyMediaCommSW) April 25, 2020

Marie-Noelle Orzel, chief officer of NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol, said: “Like the others across the country, our hospital is an extraordinary achievement and a testament to the hard work of all those involved – from the NHS staff, to the builders, carpenters and architects, the armed forces, our university hosts and everyone else.

“Each and every person has played their part to get us to where we are today – hoping that we will not be needed, but ready to care with compassion, if and when we are needed.”

It took 24 days from the site being announced to it being ready to accept its first patients.

The hospital is part of a network approach to managing critical care services across Gloucestershire, Bristol, north Somerset, Bath, north east Somerset, Wiltshire, Somerset and south Gloucester.

Staff are being drawn from within the NHS and from across a range of organisations.

Michele Romaine, chair of North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “Our new hospital belongs to the Severn region and provides that reassurance that additional intensive care beds will be available for patients with coronavirus if they are needed.”

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