1. ITV Report

NHS confirms field hospital will be built in Manchester in the battle against coronavirus

Credit: PA

A field hospital is to be built in Manchester to boost intensive care demand as the coronavirus outbreak strains the health service.

The move was confirmed by the NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens at Friday's press briefing.

In a statement, he said: "These are extraordinary steps the NHS is taking, and clinicians, managers and military planners are working day and night to create, equip and staff these hospitals from scratch and prepare for the surge that is likely to be coming.

"While we continue to pull out all the stops, we do need the public to play their part. Every single person in this country can make a difference by following the medical advice to the letter – stay at home, wash your hands, which will help stop the virus letting rip and will therefore save lives."

The so-called NHS Nightingale Hospital will be built at the Manchester Central convention centre. Another will be sited in Birmingham, it was announced.

It's been reported the Manchester hospital could have around 1,000 beds, with the Armed Forces working with the NHS in its construction.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "As the owners of Manchester Central Convention Complex, we have worked with the Ministry of Defence and health services to make the building urgently available for this vital use.

"The need to establish this new hospital underlines the serious nature of the Covid-19 pandemic we all face but also shows how seriously it is being responded to and I hope the public are reassured by the swiftness of this action."

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The NHS have said that the new hospitals will draw from predominantly NHS doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals from across the country.

A number of military medics will be on hand to care for patients too, according to NHS England.

Yesterday it was confirmed that an emergency ward is being built on a hospital car parkin Greater Manchester. to cope with an expected influx of Covid-19 patients.

It is hoped the specialist coronavirus unit at Wigan Infirmary will be up and running in the first week in May and will provide an extra 52 beds.

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