Published On: Tue, Apr 21st, 2020

London’s Nightingale hospital forced to turn coronavirus patients away amid nurse shortage | UK | News

The hospital has been forced to turn away 50 patients with COVID-19 and needing essential treatment. Of those 50, 30 had been rejected due to the lack of staff at the hospital. There are also fears the hospital is fast becoming a white elephant. The hospital has also been forced to turn away a transfer of 30 patients from London hospitals according to documents by The Guardian. 

Although the hospital was built in just nine days, questions have been raised over the lack of use for the hospital. 

Until Monday, NHS Nightingale had only treated 41 patients despite being designed to include almost 4,000 beds. 

Of the 41 patients who have been treated, four have died while seven have been discharged to a less critical level of care.

There are a further 30 still being cared for at the hospital.

One member of staff said: “There are plenty of people working here, including plenty of doctors.

“But there aren’t enough critical care nurses.

“They’re already working in other hospitals and being run ragged there.

“There aren’t spare people specialist nurses around to do this. That’s the problem.

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“That leads to patients having to be rejected because there aren’t enough critical care nurses.”

The hospital was created in order to ease the pressure on NHS trusts in the capital. 

The hospital was opened on April 3 and admitted its first patient on April 7. 

One senior intensive care doctor said: “The Nightingale is clearly not a hospital. It’s an emergency overflow facility to ventilate patients to stop them from dying when hospitals have run out of space.”

A further 20 patients were also rejected on medical grounds for being too unwell to transfer or as they did not meet the new hospital’s clinical admission criteria according to The Guardian. 

Last week, NHS organisation in London were asked to send more than 200 doctors and nurses to the temporary hospital. 

According to a leaked letter, seen by the Health and Service Journal, a letter to senior health leaders in the capital stated using NHS Nightingale was vital in restoring normal typical services for trusts across the capital. 

NHS England’s regional director, Sir David Sloman said that without the facility, London would face “insufficient critical care capacity” once normal procedures are phased back in. 

More to follow…

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