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May 4, 2020

NHS moves to wind up London’s Nightingale Hospital

By Jonn Elledge

The temporary Nightingale Hospital, opened last month in east London’s ExCeL exhibition centre, is being “stood down”.

The BBC reports that the 4,000 bed field hospital, opened on 3 April to provide extra capacity for the capital’s health service, is currently treating just 20 patients. Once they’ve been discharged, staff and some equipment will be redistributed to other hospitals.

In a briefing sent to staff, its chief executive Charles Knight confirmed that the success of the lockdown meant that “we have not had to expand the Nightingale’s capacity beyond the first ward”. However, the hospital will remain “on standby”, and could re-open at a later date.

In less cheery news, the Guardian has a feature this morning on how, a few miles west of the Nightingale, the East London Mosque has transformed some railway arches into a morgue capable of holding dozens of corpses if required. The in-house mortuary at the mosque has space for just four. In normal times, that would be sufficient.

You can read more here.

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