Exeter's Nightingale Hospital now empty as its final Covid patient discharged

There are no coronavirus patients being treated at Exeter's NHS Nightingale Hospital, only six weeks after the military was called in to assist due to an increasing numbers of patients.

The £23m hospital is now back on standby after it discharged its last Covid-19 patient on Friday 26 February.

On Wednesday 3 March it confirmed the facility will be resuming diagnostic testing next week which it has previously been used for in the past.

Figures provided by NHS England reveal the hospital first started admitting Covid patients on November 12 when it was recorded that it had 12 admissions.

The largest number recorded in 2020 was 36 people.

This year numbers nearly doubled, peaking at 60 on January 30, and February 1.

By Feb 16 - the latest data currently available - the number of patients had fallen to 34 patients.

Of those, 14 were patients from outside of Devon and Cornwall, according to Royal Devon & Exeter board papers. Numbers have continued to decline since.

Figures provided by NHS England reveal that the hospital first started admitting Covid patients on November 12

A spokesperson for the NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter said: “We have discharged our most recent patient, but remain on standby to provide more care, if needed.

"While on standby, the facility will continue to support the Devon system through hosting diagnostic testing, which will resume from next week.

The site was transformed into a 116-bed hospital within six weeks.

Initially it was built to treat Covid-19 patients, but due to low numbers of coronavirus in the region it was instead utilised for diagnostic testing, in particular cancer, as well as reducing hospital backlogs in the area, and for training overseas nurses.

It opened on July 6, 2020, and is operational seven days a week.

It then began to be used for its intended purpose for Covid inpatients from November 26.

In mid-January, a mix of combat medical technicians and soldiers, were called upon to perform general duties at the hospital.

Their roles included facilitating with ward activities, family liaison between clinical teams and families of patients, estates and porter duties.

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