Birmingham Nightingale Hospital on ‘high alert’ amid surge in coronavirus cases

The NHS Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham has been moved back to “high alert” amid a surge in coronavirus cases, according to reports.

Dr David Rosser, chief executive of University Hospitals Birmingham, said the facility, based at the NEC site, is being prepared so it could be used within 48 to 72 hours, if needed.

The Nightingale Hospitals were put on “standby” in June in case of a second coronavirus wave. At the time, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the country may need the hospitals in the “months ahead”.

“We hope we are over preparing, but are nervous we are not,” the Birmingham Mail quoted Dr Rosser as saying.

“The levels of anxiety among our staff is beyond anything I have experienced in over 30 years. I have never known a clinical team so anxious in my 30 years about what is ahead.”

Speaking during a briefing on Friday, the hospital boss said 113 people are currently ill with coronavirus on the wards.

According to the BBC, Dr Rosser said heath bosses were “sufficiently concerned to put it on the higher alert state”.

“Just today three new cases have come in,” he said.

Staff would also have to be found from hospitals that were already “overstretched”, he said.

Parts of the Midlands have been put back into lockdown after health officials described the steep rise in coronavirus cases as “off the scale”.

On Friday, Wolverhampton joined West Midlands neighbours Birmingham and Sandwell on the local lockdown list after cases increased by “five-fold” in a fortnight.

Tough new measures banning people from mixing in homes and gardens have been introduced in response to the rocketing infection rate.

It comes after a further 14 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in hospitals in England in the last 24 hours, NHS England said on Friday.

It brings the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,719.

Patients were aged between 41 and 93 and all had known underlying health conditions.


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