Medical chiefs have told NHS Nightingales in the North of England to prepare for a surge in Covid-19 cases. The field hospitals, which are currently occupying event space at Manchester Central, Harrogate Convention Centre and the Innovation Centre at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sunderland, have been dormant since the summer.
Addressing the nation, 12 October, deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam and NHS medical director Stephen Powis noted that Nightingale hospitals elsewhere would also be told to prepare to reopen.
Two of the UK’s largest venues, ExCeL London and the NEC, have already been decommissioned as hospitals, and were set to reopen to host events from 1 October until the Government delayed the restart date.
Paula Lorimer, director of Harrogate Convention Centre (pictured) said the venue is ready to accommodate patients when needed. She said: “We are ready to support the NHS to ensure the Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber is available if needed, and we thank the local community and customers for their understanding as we continue to battle Covid-19.”
However, the news has only heighted calls from the events industry for extra targeted support, with many on social media demanding that the Government realise the true value of the events industry to the UK economy.