Coronavirus: Three UK NHS Nightingale hospitals mobilised again – with staff to get regular tests
Temporary Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate are being told to get ready to take patients – as Covid-19 cases spike..
NHS England’s Professor Stephen Powis told a Downing Street briefing there would also be increased testing of health staff in hotspot areas.
He said: “To protect our staff and our patients we will be introducing – with tests provided by the Test and Trace service – regular testing for staff in these high-risk areas, even when they don’t have symptoms.
“This will help us keep staff and patients in those hospitals as safe as possible.
“Secondly, we have asked the Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate to prepare for this next phase.
“They are being asked to mobilise over the next few weeks to be ready to accept patients if necessary.”
It will be for local clinicians to decide whether they are used for Covid patients or to provide extra capacity to maintain services for people without coronavirus.
The news came as medical experts warned that hospital deaths from coronavirus will rise in the coming weeks as cases soared.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam set out the grim data in a Downing Street briefing, which revealed the virus was spreading most rapidly amongst young people.
He said there had been a “marked pick-up” in cases after a “flat” summer – and the lag between cases being identified and patients being admitted to hospital or dying mean hospital deaths will rise in the coming weeks.
“The hospital admissions we have now actually relate to a time when there fewer cases of Covid-19,” he said.
“Already, with the cases that we know about, we have baked in additional hospital admissions and sadly we also have baked in additional deaths that are now consequent upon infections that have already happened.”
Professor van Tam warned at the weekend that the country was once again at a “tipping point” in its fight with the virus.
It comes as Boris Johnson was due to reveal a new “three tier” lockdown system for England, with tougher restrictions for areas with higher rates of coronavirus.
The Prime Minister will set out plans for areas to be labelled as medium, high or very high risk in a statement to MPs, followed by a TV press conference.
Merseyside is expected to be put under the toughest “Tier 3” controls, where pubs and restaurants could be shuttered.
Courtesy of mirror.co.uk