The Nightingale Hospital
The Nightingale Hospital, based at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands was opened today by HRH Prince Charles who paid tribute to NHS staff as he appeared via video link.
Brought to operational readiness in less than two weeks, The Nightingale Hospital will be led by Consultant Cardiologist, Professor Charles Knight.
Charles, who BCS members will know well as the Chief Executive of St Bartholomew’s Hospital and a former Honorary Secretary of the British Cardiovascular Society, has a history of bringing about successful organisational mergers and developing new centres; the Nightingale Hospital will be a challenge on a whole new scale.
The facility, based at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands was opened today by HRH Prince Charles who paid tribute to NHS staff as he appeared via video link. Clinicians, allied health professionals, the army, hospital managers, IT and cohorts of willing professionals have been working night and day to be ready to receive the first patients. The whole project has been clinically conceived and clinically developed by some of London’s leading physicians and critical care specialists.
The huge scale of the unit (42 ITU beds per ward and up to 80 wards) will provide comprehensive care for patients with known COVID disease requiring respiratory support. Logistically, cardiologists and cardiac nurses will play a huge role, not just managing the cardiovascular conditions which are an increasingly recognised part of the COVID disease spectrum, but also because their ability to be rapidly up-skilled and provide vital critical care support.
The centre has already become more than just a set of managed beds - a faculty for training ensures staff are provided with vital skills including the use of PPE, a faculty of wellbeing will ensure staff are able to develop and build resilience as well a detailed electronic patient record which will make possible vital clinical research.
The model is now being extended to other Nightingale facilities in Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, and the GMEX centre in Manchester, all built with the same impressive enthusiasm and speed.
The Nightingale Hospitals will be recruiting and seconding staff from all over the country over the coming weeks and all those with cardiovascular skills from nursing, physiology and both junior and senior clinicians will have the opportunity to contribute where they can be spared.
Author: Dr Guy Lloyd