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Coronavirus

What’s happened to the Nightingale hospitals?

(30 Posts)
Katek Thu 31-Dec-20 11:37:30

Amid reports of significant overcrowding and ventilator shortages I haven’t seen anything about using these hospitals. I fully appreciate the staffing difficulties but surely there was a plan in the first instance as to how these were to be staffed. (Military support) I also understood that the UK had a large supply of ventilators following sterling work by many companies to turn their production to their manufacture. I’m puzzled.

Calendargirl Thu 31-Dec-20 11:41:42

The Nightingale hospitals were spoken about in the briefing yesterday. Some are being used apparently, but not necessarily for Covid.

Staffing issues I am sure, and it sounded easier to utilise the main hospitals if possible.

They were referred to as an ‘insurance’ policy, which I took to mean as a last resort really.

Gwenisgreat1 Thu 31-Dec-20 11:44:44

What a waste!!!

Blinko Thu 31-Dec-20 11:45:12

It seems to me that this was another of the Government's half baked ideas... ill thought through and impracticable. For one thing, staffing was always going to be an issue. As was PPE, ventilators and all the other necessary paraphernalia needed to keep very sick people alive.

As it stands the Nightingale wards look like large, empty aircraft hangars. Someone will probably be along shortly with more detailed information, for instance about how much they've cost.

Redhead56 Thu 31-Dec-20 11:48:19

The hospitals were not fully utilised at all the start of the pandemic they were a waste of money from the start.

silverlining48 Thu 31-Dec-20 11:49:53

I think the Excell one in London had 6000 beds. How on earth did they expect to staff that? There arent sufficient staff in the nhs anyway, and as expected the 40,000 newly trained nurses/doctors etc promised have neither appeared nor been mentioned for a long time. Promises just promises. Then pouff, they disappear in a puff of the proverbial.

trisher Thu 31-Dec-20 11:55:28

It's just another example of a goernment which exists on spin and hype. Much like the current celebrity culture it relies on show and exhibition, any policy of real substance or planning doesn't exist. It's the government equivalent of "Fur coat and no Knickers".
There was never the staff or equipment to make them a viable, useable option.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 31-Dec-20 11:59:42

Total cost

£220 million

Blossoming Thu 31-Dec-20 12:02:08

I was wondering about this too. Sounds like a huge waste of money.

EllanVannin Thu 31-Dec-20 12:06:29

Panic-buying !

Esspee Thu 31-Dec-20 12:08:05

I have thought, from when they were built, that every case of Covid should be treated in the new hospitals leaving our normal hospitals able to carry on as usual, instead of turning away people desperately ill from conditions like cancer whilst wards remain empty with staff in the non Covid wards having little to do.
Our niece is a nurse so I have received reliable information.

westendgirl Thu 31-Dec-20 12:08:44

~There was a picture in yesterday's Times of the London one.....looked like an empty warehouse.

trisher Thu 31-Dec-20 14:23:28

Esspee

I have thought, from when they were built, that every case of Covid should be treated in the new hospitals leaving our normal hospitals able to carry on as usual, instead of turning away people desperately ill from conditions like cancer whilst wards remain empty with staff in the non Covid wards having little to do.
Our niece is a nurse so I have received reliable information.

The problem is that organising the staffing in a hospital is a complicated business. It is difficult enough to ensure the current wards are properly staffed, illness and nurse shortages add to the problem. Staffing the Nightingales was never going to happen.
I was just remembering seeing a sitcom some time ago where all the senior staff for a new hospital had been appointed but not a brick laid! Does anyone else remember it? It's like the Nghtingales in reverse!

GrannyGravy13 Thu 31-Dec-20 14:26:41

Sky news is reporting that some of the Nightingales are being prepared to receive patients PDQ.

geekesse Thu 31-Dec-20 14:32:59

trisher, you said “I was just remembering seeing a sitcom some time ago where all the senior staff for a new hospital had been appointed but not a brick laid! Does anyone else remember it? It's like the Nghtingales in reverse!”

It was an episode of ‘Yes, Minister’: youtu.be/Eyf97LAjjcY

Ellianne Thu 31-Dec-20 14:33:58

I don't have the facts and figures for our Nightingale Hospital, but it has been receiving covid patients since November. It was also used throughout the summer for diagnostics like ct scanning as well as outpatient clinics.

Charleygirl5 Thu 31-Dec-20 14:34:01

A friend's daughter was heavily involved with the administration of the London Nightingale when it was first commissioned but silence has been golden from her. I must ask my friend.

Ellianne Thu 31-Dec-20 14:50:55

Whitewavemark2

Total cost

£220 million

I think the Exeter one cost £22 million so one tenth. How many are there?

Jaxjacky Thu 31-Dec-20 15:45:58

Grannygravy13 I saw the same on my local news re the Excel centre. I was so happy a few months ago to know they hadn’t been needed.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 31-Dec-20 15:53:35

Ellianne

Whitewavemark2

Total cost

£220 million

I think the Exeter one cost £22 million so one tenth. How many are there?

7 in total - that figure includes accountancy fees😲, planning, design, building, fitting out etc etc.

There are reports of scenes like we saw in Italy taking place in London hospitals, but journalists are being refused entry (for obvious reasons I suppose) but the NHS is also refusing to give out information.

The question is - are there sufficient staff to man the nightingales?

Answer - almost certainly No.

Ellianne Thu 31-Dec-20 15:59:54

Thanks WWM2. We are not well off for general hospitals in Devon and Cornwall so I guess the Nightingale is needed. Quite where they are finding the staff I have no idea, but the local newspaper reports 28 patients.

paddyanne Thu 31-Dec-20 16:03:25

The Glasgow one has been in use since early summer ,last month Jeanne Freeman said it had seen 12000 patients in a covid free zone and helped with training 4500 new NHS staff

trisher Thu 31-Dec-20 16:07:10

geekesse

*trisher*, you said “I was just remembering seeing a sitcom some time ago where all the senior staff for a new hospital had been appointed but not a brick laid! Does anyone else remember it? It's like the Nghtingales in reverse!”

It was an episode of ‘Yes, Minister’: youtu.be/Eyf97LAjjcY

geekesse Thanks so much -of course it was! So funny but we thought such silly things never happened!

mokryna Thu 31-Dec-20 16:12:15

Inoculate all NH staff right away and with the savings that people were told 5 years ago regarding Brexit, give them a sufficient decent wage which would encourage those who have left in recent years to retrain.

Casdon Thu 31-Dec-20 16:24:17

It’s interesting when you look into it. Online it says the Glasgow one has been repurposed to restart elective work and provide nurse training accommodation, so isn’t being used for Covid patients who are presumably in the general hospitals, and the Exeter one is for Covid patients but the incidence is low. In Wales for the second wave they have created additional capacity by opening additional beds in existing hospitals, but have ceased elective activity temporarily because of the numbers of Covid patients. Each area has to find local solutions they can make work, and Nightingale hospitals as originally conceived were never going to be the solution for everywhere - it was a political solution, not an NHS solution.