NHS staff are working day and night to create the new NHS Nightingale Hospital North West. The temporary hospital at Manchester Central is being put in place to for patients across the North West, including Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and South Cumbria as well as Greater Manchester.
They are joined by experts from the military, social care, local government, and charities at Manchester Central. Their combined efforts have created a new hospital, clinical model and recruitment programme in just ten days.
Within the next week, NHS Nightingale Hospital North West will be equipped and staffed to receive up to 750 patients from across the North West of England. A recruitment campaign launched on Saturday, and has already attracted hundreds of expressions of interest from across the North West.
In an effort to join in displaying pretty rainbows in windows, Manchester Central posted the featured picture on their social media with the caption:
“We can’t put rainbows in our windows, so we made our windows into a rainbow instead!
“We hope this brightens up your day.”
NHS Nightingale Hospital North West will be staffed by consultants, junior doctors, nurses, healthcare support workers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, social workers, and a huge range of non-clinical support workers and administrators.
They will look after Covid-19 patients from across the region who do not need intensive care but who still need treatment. The hospital will link closely to community health and social care services, and patients will be transferred there from the network of hospitals across the North West.
Jackie Bird, Chief Nurse for NHS England and NHS Improvement North West, is the Senior Responsible Officer for the NHS Nightingale North West hospital. She said:
“The Nightingale programme, together with the rest of the coronavirus response, really shows what the NHS and its partners can achieve when it pulls all the stops out. It’s been very heartening to see so many people and different organisations pulling together to create an entire hospital in the space of a fortnight to care for our population. It’s an incredible feat.
“Hospitals in the region have done a great job of ramping up capacity to care for coronavirus patients, and the NHS Nightingale North West will give us additional beds should they be needed. But of course we actually want to be treating as few people as possible here, which is why we are continuing to ask people in the North West to stay home to save lives.”
The project lead for the hospital is Ian Williamson, who is also, Chief Accountable Officer of Manchester Health and Care Commissioning and will be managing how the temporary facility works with existing NHS and social care in the North West.
He said: “NHS Nightingale Hospital North West will provide the highest possible standard of care for Covid-19 patients from across the whole region, and will free up capacity in our hospitals.
The professionalism and commitment of the people who have come together from a wide range of organisations has made it possible to build a new hospital in just a few weeks and we are all proud to be involved in helping the NHS to save lives.”
A new executive leadership team has been quickly established. Michael McCourt, Chief Executive Officer of Manchester and Trafford Local Care Organisations, has been appointed Chief Executive.
The team is working with NHS Professionals, a leading provider of flexible workforce services to the NHS, to recruit the right staff at NHS Nightingale Hospital North West without destabilising the rest of the NHS in the region.
NHS Professionals, which is owned by the Department of Health and Social Care, is targeting those who have left or taken a break from their profession for any reason in the last three years, or work as part of the large bank of temporary workforce across the NHS.
There are also a large number of non-clinical roles available, with no need for healthcare qualifications.
Juliette Cosgrove, Chief Nurse and Director of Governance at NHS Professionals, will be the hospital’s Chief Nurse. She said:
“Nightingale North West is a key part of our region’s response to Covid-19. If you share our passion for caring for patients at this time of need and you’re available to work, we want to hear from you.
“We’ve already got strong clinical leadership in place and are looking to build a committed NHS workforce from across the North West. Maybe you recently retired as a doctor or a nurse, or you’re a healthcare worker that wants to return to the frontline, or perhaps you don’t have a healthcare background, but you want to play your part. There are a whole host of roles we are looking to recruit to, to make sure we can provide our patients with the best possible care.
“We’ll be working hard to look after every member of our team – to make sure they have personal protective equipment and feel supported to work in this challenging environment. Staff safety and wellbeing is a top priority.”
Shaun Hinds, Chief Executive of Manchester Central, said:
The Manchester Central team has pulled out every stop to help get the facility mobilised as quickly as possible. The pace at which the operation got underway and the manner in which all parties have come together to make this happen is truly commendable.
“We are incredibly proud to be able to use our venue and our skills to support the phenomenal work that the NHS are doing and hope that our contribution helps the North West, and indeed the UK, to recover as quickly as possible from these challenging times.”
Sir Richard Leese, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:
“We are proud and delighted that Manchester Central has been transformed into this vital part of the fight against Coronavirus and will serve the whole of the North West. It is testament to the can do attitude of all involved that a couple of weeks has seen the incredible change from conference hall to hospital, and it is humbling to witness the partnership across the NHS, the military and the venue bring this to life.
“Manchester will continue to support this new facility all we can – it will be of benefit to hospitals across the North West as we add an extra 750 beds into the system. My heartfelt thanks go to all involved.”