Staff slam empty London Nightingale hospital as a ‘complete waste of money’ as patients drop to a ‘ludicrously low’ 26
- A source at the 3,600-bed flagship facility told The Mail on Sunday the ‘ludicrously low’ number of Covid19 victims had shattered morale
- It has been claimed the Nightingale hospital was ‘a complete waste of money and resources’ with staff reluctant to work there
- More than 50 patients are believed to have been turned away since the hospital opened two weeks ago – 30 of them due to a lack of staff
Published: 18:48 EDT, 25 April 2020 | Updated: 22:07 EDT, 25 April 2020
A source at the 3,600-bed flagship facility told The Mail on Sunday the ‘ludicrously low’ number of Covid19 victims had shattered morale among medical staff and claimed the Nightingale was ‘a complete waste of money and resources’.
The 26 patients are being looked after on a single ward by up to 180 medical practitioners and welfare staff, many of whom are being accommodated at hotels near the hospital in London‘s Docklands.
Military personnel work inside the ExCel centre in London on March 31, 2020, which has been transformed into a field hospital but remains empty despite its high capacity
Some clinical care nurses failed to turn up for their shifts last week, meaning that additional critically ill patients could not transfer there from other London hospitals.
More than 50 patients are believed to have been turned away since the hospital opened two weeks ago – 30 of them due to a lack of staff.
The number of patients under the care of Nightingale staff peaked at just 41 around ten days ago. That figure had fallen to 26 by Friday, according to a well-placed source.
All were being cared for on the only ward in use at the hospital, called Bedford B. Medical staff have also fallen out with managers over the discharge of the Nightingale’s first patient.
Carers were told to line the road outside the Excel Centre and clap as an ambulance carrying the patient drove away.
Signage is seen outside the Nightingale Hospital North West, the converted Manchester Central Convention Complex, in Manchester, north-west England on April 15, 2020
Footage of the departure was circulated as an NHS success story. But a source claimed the event was a PR exercise. ‘The patient was still very ill and he wasn’t going home, the source said.
‘He was simply being transferred to another hospital for treatment. The managers wanted a PR hit so we went outside and clapped to order. A lot of us felt bad about it.’
The insider, who spent several days working at the Nightingale last week, added: ‘It is a very expensive business, with all the staff being encouraged to stay in hotels near the hospital.
While there is a shortage of clinical care nurses, which means those on shift work extremely hard, all other categories of staff are idle most of the time.’
Last night, an NHS Nightingale spokesman said: ‘The whole point of the London Nightingale has been to build extra capacity to help local hospitals ensure all those who need care can get it.
‘It will be a mark of success if it continues not to operate at full capacity.’
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