Captain Tom Moore to be guest of honour at opening of new hospital

A 99-year-old war veteran from Bedfordshire who has raised more than £23 million for NHS charities has been invited to be the guest of honour at the official opening of a new Nightingale hospital.

Capt Tom Moore has been walking lengths of his garden at his home in Marston Moretaine near Bedford and originally set himself a target of raising £1,000.

However, that initial target is now a distant memory, and as of Saturday afternoon, more than a million people had donated to his fundraising page - raising a staggering £23 million for NHS Charities Together in the process.

As a mark of their gratitude, the NHS have now asked Capt Moore to open a new Nightingale hospital in Harrogate in his native Yorkshire on Tuesday.

Captain Moore has been walking lengths of his garden in Bedfordshire. Credit: PA

Capt Moore will appear via video link and is set to praise NHS workers for the brilliant work they've been doing in the fight against coronavirus.

The NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber hospital is one of seven new hospitals which have been set up around the country as part of the national effort to tackle Covid-19.

“I am still amazed by the amount of kindness and generosity from the UK public who continue to give despite it being an uncertain time for many. I think the amount raised demonstrates just how much we all value the dedication and sacrifices made by our NHS workers," Capt Moore said.

"I have fought during a war and they are now fighting in a war too. I’m honoured to be opening the NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber and to get to thank many of the NHS workers directly. I know that having extra beds available for the sick, if needed will be reassuring to those workers, as it would have been to me when I was on the frontline.”

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens added: "Inviting Captain Moore to be our guest of honour at the opening of NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber is the least we can do to thank him for his inspiring service and example, and no doubt there will be further ways in which we will be able to express our gratitude."

It's also been reported that a spitfire flypast is being planned to mark Captain Moore's 100th birthday.