London’s Nightingale hospital ‘to stand down’

The Nightingale Hospital in London is expected to be “stood down” in the coming days. 

The Abu Dhabi-owned ExCeL Centre in London’s Docklands was turned into a field hospital for coronavirus patients and opened on 3 April by Prince Charles via video link, a week after he had tested positive for Covid-19.

The BBC understands there are fewer than 20 patients being treated there at the moment and once they’ve been discharged, the 4,000-bed hospital will be placed on standby with staff and some equipment redeployed and redistributed.

In a briefing to staff, Charles Knight, chief executive of the new hospital, said: “Thanks to the determination and sacrifice of Londoners in following the expert advice to stay home and save lives we have not had to expand the Nightingale’s capacity beyond the first ward.”

Mr Knight added that the hospital would be “placed on standby, ready to resume operations as and when needed in the weeks and potentially months to come”.

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