War veteran who has raised more than £23m for the NHS is to open Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate

The NHS has invited Captain Tom Moore to be the guest of honour at the official opening of the new Nightingale hospital in Harrogate next week as a way of honouring the Yorkshire native’s fundraising efforts.

The 99-year-old has raised a remarkable £23 million for the NHS. The war veteran is set to praise NHS workers via video link at the opening of the NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber hospital on Tuesday 21 April.

The former British Military Officer, who served in India and in the Burma campaign during the Second World War, aimed to raise £1,000 for NHS charities by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.

More than one million people have since donated to his Just Giving page.

The war veteran is set to praise NHS workers via video link at the opening of the NHS Nightingale hospital in Harrogate Credit: PA

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. 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.”

Captain Tom Moore
The Nightingale Hospital at Harrogate Convention Centre in Harrogate, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Credit: PA

The seven Nightingale hospitals have been set up around the country as part of an NHS effort to respond to the greatest global health emergency in more than a century.

This extra capacity is on top of the 33,000 additional beds freed up across NHS hospitals – the equivalent of building 50 district general hospitals – and the up to 8,000 beds put at the NHS’ disposal through an unprecedented deal with the independent sector.

33,000

Extra NHS beds have been created since the seven Nightingale hospitals were set up.

One of NHS Nightingale hospitals is located in Harrogate Credit: PA

On behalf of the NHS our heartfelt thanks go to Captain Tom Moore for his remarkable fundraising efforts for NHS charities, and to the public for their generosity in supporting him and our staff. 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.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive