Bristol's Nightingale hospital to fight against coronavirus opens at UWE campus

A hospital built in Bristol to look after critically ill coronavirus patients has officially opened.

The temporary Nightgale hospital has been built at a conference centre at the University of the West of England (UWE).

Health secretary Matt Hancock, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and Chief Executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens, opened the venue in a virtual ceremony.

Bristol's Nightingale Hospital at the University of the West of England.

The Nightingale hospitals are part of a nationwide effort to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

Sir Simon Stevens, the CEO of the NHS praised the teamwork of those across the NHS, military, contractors and local government, who had "come together in record time to do something quite extraordinary."

He added: "Fortunately it now looks as if, thanks in part to the actions the public are taking, we are coming through the peak of that number of hospital beds, but we know that coronavirus is going to be with us for months if not years to come.

"We also know that there is going to be continuing pressure on services meaning that the capacity that the Nightingale hospitals represent will be useful to have not just over the coming weeks but potentially over months beyond that as well."

The site of Exeter's new Nightingale Hospital

Meanwhile, work on a new facility in Exeter is due to begin this week.

It will be built on the site of a former retail unit in Sowton. When it opens next month, it will be one of seven temporary hospitals set up by the Government to help in the fight against Coronavirus.

Earlier plans for a 400 bed hospital at Westpoint have been scrapped as the number of cases in the region have been lower than expected.

The NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol is one part of a network approach to the management of critical care services across Gloucestershire, Bristol, North Somerset, Bath, North East Somerset, Wiltshire, Somerset and South Gloucester.

  • Facts and figures about the Nightingale Hospital, Bristol:

Both military planners and engineers have worked alongside the NHS to deliver the hospital.

Additional military personnel are also joining forces with firefighters and paramedics in the South West in response to Covid-19.