The NHS Nightingale hospital which is being built in Exeter to help combat the coronavirus pandemic will no longer be at Westpoint Arena, it has been announced.

It was decided that a site the size of Westpoint was not required due to the lower-than-expected transmission rates of COVID-19 in the South West.

Instead, NHS Nightingale Exeter will be based at the former Homebase store in Sowton industrial estate.

The hospital will be built inside the former Homebase store in Sowton. Credit: Google Maps

A spokesperson for the NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group confirmed construction work will begin in the next few days.

The NHS’ newest hospital will now be built on the site of a former retail unit on the outskirts of the city. Earlier plans had indicated that this hospital would be based at Westpoint. However, having carefully considered the value which Westpoint brings to the community north of Exeter, and the disruption it could cause to its everyday operations, we have used the time available to us to consider alternatives. We are very grateful to the charity which runs Westpoint for their help, hard work, and kindness in welcoming us over the last ten days as we considered our decision. >

NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

The Westpoint Arena hospital was due to be the smallest of the seven Nightingales being built across the country.

The facility at Sowton, once built, will provide care and treatment for patients from Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the West Country, including case numbers, event cancellations and venue closures, click here.

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