Westpoint Exeter will become a new NHS Nightingle Hospital to provide 200 extra beds for patients with coronavirus symptoms if needed.
The NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter brings the total to seven confirmed NHS Nightingale Hospitals in a matter of weeks.
The five hospitals in Devon and Cornwall will provide the majority of care forcritically ill patients with coronavirus, and have plans in place to increase their critical care capacity up to 500 beds across both counties.
Elizabeth O’Mahony, Regional Director, NHS England and NHS Improvement – South West, said coronavirus was “the single biggest challenge facing our country for generations.”
It's the second Nightingale Hospital in the West Country. The NHS have already begun converting a conference hall at the University of the West of England in Bristol into an Intensive Care Unit.
We can learn from the work we are doing in Bristol and the other Nightingale Hospitals across the country. We want the NHS in the South West to be as well prepared as possible.
The new Nightingale Hospital is expected to be ready for the first patients, if needed, by early May to meet the care needs for patients who are seriously unwell due to their coronavirus symptoms.
The set-up of this new facility will be overseen by Philippa Slinger, an experienced NHS Chief Executive, and currently lead Chief Executive for the Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.
I would like to thank local people for their extraordinary support to the NHS by staying at home. Where people have needed to go out for essential reasons, they have by and large practised good social distancing. These actions need to continue as they are helping us to manage the pandemic.