Glasgow facility being converted into coronavirus hospital to be named after World War One nurse

A temporary field hospital which is being converted from a huge facility in Glasgow is to be named after a World War One nurse, the Scottish Government has announced.

Glasgow's SEC Centre, Scotland's largest exhibition centre, a huge 64 acre site, which has a seating capacity of around 15,000, will soon be known as the NHS Louisa Jordan.

Sister Louisa Jordan was a nurse from Glasgow who died on active service in Serbia in 1915 while providing much-needed care to an "area of dire need".

Scottish Cabinet's Health and Sport Secretary Jeane Freeman said Sister Jordan "is a person who has perhaps up until now been better remembered in Serbia than in Scotland.

"This hospital is a fitting tribute to her service and her courage."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the facility could be operational within two weeks and will have a 300-bed capacity but said there was "potential to raise it beyond 1,000" beds.

The Glasgow facility is just one of several temporary coronavirus field hospitals which are being set up right across the UK, as the NHS aims to boost its bed capacity to cope with the growing coronavirus crisis.

Work is already underway at other sites in Wales, Cumbria, and the Midlands, while several sites in Northern Ireland are being considered.

Following the conversion of London's Excel Centre, which for the foreseeable future will be known as the NHS Nightingale, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens gave the "go ahead" to several more.

In a recent press conference he confirmed that new NHS Nightingale Hospitals are being built in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre and Manchester’s Central Convention Centre “with further such hospitals to follow”.

The Ministry of Defence, which helped convert the Excel Centre in just two weeks to create a 4,000-bed field hospital, is now working to convert more.

Glasgow's SEC Centre, Scotland's largest exhibition centre is being converted into a temporary hospital. Credit: PA

There's also the Principality Stadium in Wales, which is to be converted into a temporary hospital providing around 2,000 additional beds to support the NHS.

The facility is now being assessed by specialists and contractors to complete the transformation.

While the NHS has not yet officially confirmed it, photographs show work has also began on converting the Harrogate Convention Centre into an NHS Nightingale hospital.

Work has started to convert the Harrogate Convention Centre into an NHS Nightingale hospital. Credit: PA

Local MP Andrew Jones said he is "proud" the convention centre can provide a "versatile space" for the NHS.

A field hospital is being set up at The Vale Resort near Cardiff, providing 290 beds for the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.

The facility is being set up with the support of local authorities, the military and contractors.

Two further field hospital sites are being worked on in the area and will be confirmed at a later date.

Work also is under way to provide an extra 500 patient beds at leisure centres throughout Cumbria.

Equipment will be installed this week at Whitehaven Sports Centre, The Sands Centre in Carlisle, Penrith Leisure Centre, Kendal Leisure Centre and Furness Academy in Barrow.

Work has also started on a temporary mortuary at Birmingham Airport with space for up to 12,000 bodies in a worst-case scenario amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

The hangar facility will initially have space for 1,500 bodies “but will expand to hold more”, according to the West Midlands and Warwickshire strategic co-ordination group, made up of police, councils and other agencies.

Another mortuary is being set up in the 2,800 capacity Planet Ice in Milton Keynes which will hold hundreds of bodies.

Planet Ice could is being converted into a temporary mortuary which could help local services cope if they're overwhelmed. Credit: PA

A Milton Keynes council spokesperson said in a statement: "We're working with the owners of Planet Ice to ready the rink as a precaution should it be needed to support local operations.

"Ice rinks elsewhere in the UK have previously been used as temporary mortuary facilities, as their existing infrastructure can typically be adapted faster and more effectively than other buildings."

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