Nightingale Hospital for Cornwall taking first Covid-19 patients

A Nightingale Hospital which will serve Cornwall is welcoming its first Covid-19 patients.

The coronavirus centres were mostly built during the first wave of the pandemic, to cope with the expected pressures on the NHS.

Last week, a 116-bed hospital built on the site of a former retail unit treated its first patients.

Officials said that the hospital is currently taking patients transferred from the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust as it is “very busy”.

But it was confirmed earlier this year that the facility would serve Cornwall too – as well as other neighbouring counties if needed.

A Nightingale Hospital Exeter spokeswoman said: “The Nightingale Exeter will accept patients who will be transferred from the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E), which is very busy.

Medical equipment next to a bed at the NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and Humber in Harrogate

“We would ask that the public continue to observe the Government’s advice on observing the lockdown and social distancing so that we can keep patients safe.”

An FOI in August saw the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust state that it had cost them £19,807,000 to build the hospital, rising to £22,643,000 when ‘costs incurred by other organisations’ was taken into account. The ‘monthly stand-by costs’ of the hospital were listed as £409,000.

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It was originally planned to be at Westpoint Arena and was scheduled to have 700 beds. However, the location was changed as plans were scaled down to the current 36,000 sq ft site at a former retail unit.

Government figures show the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in the South West has steadily risen over the previous weeks.

Cornwall Live