Two new Nightingale Hospitals will open in Birmingham and Manchester to provide care to thousands more patients with coronavirus, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens announced last week.
The hospital based at the NEC in Birmingham will start with up to 500 beds equipped with the capacity to increase beds up to 2,000 if needed.
The hospital based at the Manchester Central Complex will provide up to 500 beds but could expand to 1,000 beds for coronavirus patients across the north-west of England.
Both facilities will provide support for patients from across the Midlands and the North West.
Confirmation that the two new NHS Nightingale sites are going ahead came as Sir Simon revealed that the NHS has freed up 33,000 beds across existing NHS hospitals for coronavirus patients – the equivalent of 50 new hospitals.
He said: “It will take a monumental effort from everyone across the country to beat this epidemic, but the NHS is mobilising like never before to deliver care in new ways, to thousands more people – starting with the opening of the first NHS Nightingale in London.
“These are extraordinary steps the NHS is taking, and clinicians, managers and military planners are working day and night to create, equip and staff these hospitals from scratch and prepare for the surge that is likely to be coming.
“While we continue to pull out all the stops, we do need the public to play their part. Every single person in this country can make a difference by following the medical advice to the letter – stay at home, wash your hands, which will help stop the virus letting rip and will therefore save lives.”
The new hospitals will draw from predominantly NHS doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals from across the country. A number of military medics will be on hand to care for patients.