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New hospital launching on site of ExCeL exhibition centre

26th Mar 2020 - 11:43
ExCeL NHS Nightingale hospital
A hospital with capacity for up to 4,000 beds is being opened in London’s ExCeL exhibition centre to help treat patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Arrangements for the catering for staff and patients have not been formally announced, but is understood to have gone to a major contractor.

The NHS Nightingale Hospital, as it is known, will open on April 4th with an initial capacity of 500 beds in a joint venture involving NHS staff and the military. It has the capacity to increase patient numbers up to ‘several thousands’ as required.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Under these exceptionally challenging circumstances the NHS is taking extraordinary steps to fight coronavirus.

“That's why NHS clinicians and managers are working with military planners and engineers to create, equip, staff and open the NHS Nightingale London, and we're very grateful for their support.

“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.”

One operational element of the new hospital has been confirmed, with ISS mobilising ‘hundreds of staff’ to handle cleaning and other services at the hospital.

Craig Smith, head of corporate affairs at ISS, said: “As market leader in the provision of healthcare services, ISS is proud to have been asked to provide the Soft FM staffing for the Nightingale Hospital.

“ISS Healthcare professionals will be managing the cleaning, portering and waste management, whilst working with fellow FM providers to deliver a seamless service into the NHS.

“At this stage the workforce is being drawn from around the country, starting with contracts the company holds with the NHS. Additional staff will be recruited from other areas that are currently on furlough.

“A specialist ISS Training Academy has been created onboard the Sunborn Yacht Hotel, adjacent to the Exhibition Centre, where all FM staff will receive the appropriate training before entering the new hospital.”


Written by
David Foad