The new Nightingale Hospital Birmingham temporary hospital was revealed to be empty on Sunday (26 April 2020) over 10 days after it’s completion. The facility was constructed over an 8 day period by military and clinical staff and is managed by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. Despite having capacity for up to 500 patients, to be drawn from 23 hospitals across the Midlands, it remains completely unused.
Dr David Rosser, the Chief Executive of University Hospitals Birmingham said this was a “good thing” and suggested this meant hospitals in the Midlands had “absorbed” the extra patients. It was however noted that the facility, unlike the Nightingale Hospital London, was intended as a step down where patients recovering from the Coronavirus and no longer in need of ventilation were to be sent. NHS Trusts were also noted as unwilling to spare staff for the facility, with staffing stretched to the limits in their own facilities with some reporting up to 20% of staff members sick or self-isolating. The Midlands has seen the most deaths of any region of Britain outside London, with over 3,800 deaths linked to the outbreak.