Royal Navy personnel deployed to Exeter's Nightingale Hospital to help as the number of Covid-19 cases rise

The Nightingale Hospital in Exeter is having to deal with a rise in the number of cases of Covid-19. Credit: ITV West Country

Almost 50 medical and general assistants from the Armed Forces have been drafted in to help out at the Nightingale Hospital in Exeter as it deals with an increasing number of Covid patients.

It is understood there has been a significant rise in the number of coronavirus cases in recent days at the hospital, which treats patients from across the South West.

The most recent figure, published last week, puts the number of patients at the Nightingale at 34 but ITV News understands there has been a recent upsurge in cases.

Inside Exeter's Nightingale Hospital before it started taking patients. Credit: ITV West Country

A spokesperson for the NHS said: "The NHS is grateful to the many military personnel working in hospitals in the South West, alongside doctors, nurses and others who have returned to the NHS front line and to the tens of thousands of St John volunteers working across the country.

"The NHS has 50,000 more staff now working in the health service than a year ago all working round the clock to respond to unprecedented pressure on the NHS."

Twenty six medical assistants from the Navy will help with patient care at the 116-bed facility. They will take on the role of health care assistants, helping with the washing and toileting and rolling of patients - which is critical for their well-being.

Members of the Armed Forces will also act as general assistants, helping with portering and administrative tasks. Credit: ITV West Country

In addition, 20 general assistants from the Armed Forces will help out with non-clinical patient care, including portering and administrative work.

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