Captain Tom Moore honoured at opening of NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber
21 April 2020, 15:13 | Updated: 21 April 2020, 17:42
The NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber, the seventh Nightingale hospital set up across the UK, is opening its doors for Covid-19 patients today.
The hospital, based in Harrogate Convention Centre, has been built in just three weeks, and will provide more than 500 beds for coronavirus patients.
The new facility is one of seven Nightingale hospitals to be set up around the country as part of a massive NHS effort to respond to the ongoing pandemic.
It will be opened by Captain Tom Moore, who has been invited to open the new hospital in honour of his fundraising efforts, in which he raised more than £27 million for the NHS.
During the opening, Captain Moore was given birthday wishes as he appeared via video link.
This hospital comes alongside the 33,000 extra beds being freed up across NHS hospitals and the 8,000 beds made available from the private sector.
It will mainly treat patients with coronavirus, as well as other patients who may need urgent and emergency treatment if needed.
Steve Russell, Chief Executive, NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and The Humber and Chief Executive And Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new NHS Nightingale Hospital – like the others across the country - is an extraordinary achievement, and provides local people and staff with the reassurance that there will be additional beds available if they are required.
"It is a vital insurance policy, which we hope will not be needed.
“Our doctors, nurses, therapists and other health and social care staff across Yorkshire and the Humber are working incredibly hard to make sure people get the care they need during what is the single greatest challenge in the history of the NHS, but they can’t do it alone.
“The most important thing remains for the public to continue to follow expert advice and stay at home - reducing the number of people who get the virus, and therefore the need for NHS treatment.”
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP said :“I have been incredibly impressed by the sheer dedication, professionalism and altruism of everyone involved in setting up NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and The Humber – from the NHS clinical staff and engineers to the construction workers and military planners.
“It’s an honour to be asked to open this hospital alongside Captain Tom Moore. During this worrying and difficult time for our whole country his phenomenal achievement has reminded us of our common bonds and served to further unite us.
“My heartfelt thanks also goes out to all the staff who will be working on the ground, providing extra capacity for patients if local hospitals need it.
"The official opening provides an opportunity to thank all those involved who have pulled out all the stops to ensure that capacity still exists to care for patients with coronavirus.