The Harrogate Nightingale Hospital has opened today (21 April 2020).
Captain Tom Moore was guest of honour, by video link, after he raised millions for the NHS in fundraising by walking laps of his garden in Bedfordshire.
London Nightingale Hospital is a 300-bed “step up” facility, meaning that it has intensive care beds.
The new hospital in Harrogate is to provide support to the region and it isn’t an intensive care facility, it is a “step down” facility. It will be for patients who’ve been in intensive care with coronavirus, but still need hospital care.
The hospital has taken the entire Harrogate Convention Centre (HCC) and converted to wards and associated support. The HCC develops a yearly income over £50million to the Harrogate District. Although some hotels will be utilised by people working at the hospital, most of that economic gain to the district will be lost. Given the lockdown, closure of restaurants, pubs and theatres, that benefit would to be reduced anyway.
The NHS has been reluctant to release figures around the use of London Nightingale Hospital and it is not clear if there is an anticipated time for the Harrogate Nightingale to be in place.
The national picture is an estimated 2-million operations cancelled from 15 April 2020 over 3-months. It is not believed that the Nightingale Hospitals will have an impact on those cancellations.