Coronavirus: NHS to build new Nightingale hospitals – when to go to hospital with COVID-19

Coronavirus cases are continuing to rise in the UK and across the world, and the NHS has once again reacted to the virus’ spread. There will be two new Nightingale hospitals built, in Bristol and in Harrogate, to provide extra beds for COVID-19 patients. But, you still should avoid going to hospital unless you absolutely have to, the NHS has urged.

Almost 3,000 people in the UK have died from the coronavirus, and one million have now been infected across the globe.

The government has urged the public to remain at home unless they absolutely need to leave the house, in a bid to reduce the spread of the deadly virus.

But, cases have continued to rise across the country, with more than 30,000 individuals confirmed to have COVID-19.

The NHS has already built one new Nightingale hospital in London, as a reaction to the virus, with two more on the way.

It’s now been revealed that an extra two hospitals are being built – in Bristol and Harrogate – to provide extra cover for the growing number of coronavirus cases.

Both hospitals will have up to 1,500 beds, if needed, and they’ll each serve their respective corners of the country.

The first Nightingale hospital, which was built at London’s ExCel centre, was officially opened today.

It took 10 days from the new hospital’s announcement, to opening its doors to the public.

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The NHS is already working on two Nightingale facilities already; one in Manchester, and one in Birmingham.

The nation’s healthcare provider is facing its toughest ever challenge with the emergence of the coronavirus, but they’re ready for it, claimed the NHS Nightingale’s medical director, Dr Allan McGlellan.

“I’m so proud to be a part of this extraordinary achievement and my team and I are ready to care for people who need us.

“The NHS faces the greatest challenge in its history but by setting up this new site we can work with the hardest hit part of the country, to support staff in the capital’s other hospitals and make sure people who need intensive care can get it.


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“We are ready today to do what’s required of us, but my hope is that we are not needed, because if we all take sensible steps to reduce transmission of this virus then fewer people will need care and the pressure on my hardworking colleagues will reduce.”

But, the NHS are still urging people to avoid visiting hospitals unless they absolutely have to.

Staff are already facing relentless challenges in hospitals, and patients risk spreading the virus further to those most vulnerable.

Instead, if you have the usual tell-tale signs of coronavirus, it’s best to stay at home.


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The most common COVID-19 symptoms include a high fever, and a new, continuous cough.

Some patients have also reported diarrhoea, as well as losing their sense of smell and taste.

But, coronavirus can cause breathing difficulties in some individuals, the NHS warned.

You should phone 999 for an ambulance straight away if you’re struggling to breath.

That includes being so breathless that you struggle to speak more than a few words, or if you’re breathing harder or faster than normal, and it’s getting increasingly worse.

Otherwise, you should phone NHS 111 for medical help if you’re struggling to manage your symptoms.

The phone lines will be busy, but it’s still worth speaking to a medical professional if you’re worried.

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