Britain’s Prince Charles, on April 3, opened a new 4,000-bed temporary hospital in a conference centre in east London. The temporary hospital marks the first of several being built in Britain to deal with the deadly coronavirus pandemic. The Prince of Wales officially launched the state-run National Health Service (NHS) Hospital via video link from his Scotland home, where he is self-isolation with his wife Camila.
We are officially open! In less than two weeks, @ExCelLondon has been transformed into London's newest hospital, and we will be available as soon as patients across London and the south of England need us: https://t.co/jEyCb1rBNQ pic.twitter.com/TLSg3j4ZxH— NHS Nightingale London (@NightingaleLDN) April 3, 2020
The new hospital is named after that trailblazing 19th-century nurse Florence Nightingale and has been built in just nine days. According to the official NHS website, the hospital is built in Bristol and Harrogate to provide beds if local services need them during the peak of coronavirus. While paying tribute to everyone involved in the project, Prince Charles said that it is ‘incredible’ to have transformed the giant ExCeL centre into a critical care facility in such a short space of time.
“It is symbolic of the selfless care and devoted service taking place in innumerable settings, with countless individuals, throughout the United Kingdom.”— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) April 3, 2020
The Prince of Wales today opened the new NHS @NightingaleLDN hospital via video link from his home in Scotland. 🏥📱 pic.twitter.com/n7t5IYlX41
He further said that he is relieved that everyone can now have the reassurance that they will receive all the necessary technical care that many need, and every chance to return to a normal life. Moreover, he called the facility a ‘shining light’ but added that he hoped that it would not be required for long. As per reports, the hospital will initially take only 50 people in the coming days. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the facility will take incentive care patients with coronavirus from other London hospitals, which have seen the most number of cases across the country.
As per reports, the new facility is the size of ten district general hospitals. It has more than 80 wards, each contains 42 beds. Furthermore, once it's fully operational, the hospital will be requiring more than 1,600 staff to run. Hancock reportedly said that in this trouble times and with this 'invisible killer’ stalking the whole world, NHS is more valuable than before.
Additionally, according to the NHS website, temporary hospitals are being built in exhibition centres in the cities of Birmingham and Manchester as well. Another facility is also under construction in Glasgow and the authorities further also plans to build two more in Bristol, in western England and the northern city of Harrogate. However, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens reportedly said that he hopes that the extra two sites would not be needed.