Date announced for official Royal opening of Sunderland's Nightingale Hospital

The official opening of the Nightingale Hospital North East will take place on Tuesday, May 5.

Friday, 1st May 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Friday, 1st May 2020, 3:31 pm
The Nightingale Hospital North East
The Nightingale Hospital North East

The 460-bed hospital for Covid-19 patients will be officially opened by the Queen’s daughter-in-law, Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex.

The opening will be a ‘virtual’ ceremony with speakers joining via video – and no members of the public will be attending.

More than 300 NHS staff, contractors and the Army worked around the clock over the course of three weeks to transform the industrial unit, which is bigger than a football pitch, in to a 460-bed hospital.

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Inside the Nightingale Hospital earlier this month.

Around 50 members of ‘Team Nightingale’ will join Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chair Sir John Burn, chief executive Dame Jackie Daniel and Executive Lead Martin Wilson at the hospital for the ceremony and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.

The event will be livestreamed to a wider audience.

After the opening, the facility will only start taking patients if the region’s hospitals are unable to cope with a potential surge of Covid-19 cases which require hospital treatment.

The Innovation Centre, which now houses the hospital, will eventually become home to the Centre of Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CeSAM).

The hospital will be officially opened on Tuesday, May 5.

Last month, the building was ‘almost finished’ but empty – making it the perfect site for a quick turnaround.

It has now been transformed into a 20-ward hospital, including eight intensive care wards, and gives the North East the capacity to care for another 460 coronavirus patients if hospitals are filled.

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