Sunderland’s Nightingale Hospital could still be used in the event of “another surge of coronavirus”, an NHS trust has confirmed.
Nightingale Hospitals were built around the country to help the NHS cope with the pandemic and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with Covid patients.
Thankfully, the hospital in Sunderland has yet to be used- although the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has said it will be available for “as long as necessary” to support local hospitals.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “The Nightingale North East is part of a nationwide effort being coordinated by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care as part of the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“While we have not yet had to use this facility, it will remain available for as long as it is required to support all of the main hospitals in our region in the event of another surge of Covid-19 cases.
“The hospital is designed to provide care for patients who have already been intubated and ventilated and require further intensive care treatment for Covid-19.”
There are seven critical care temporary hospitals established by NHS England as part of the response to the pandemic in England to help cope with any surge.
Localised restrictions were put in place across the North East including Sunderland and County Durham after a spike in cases.
And this week, Boris Johnson confirmed that pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues will be required to close at 10pm, starting from last Thursday in a new set of nationwide restrictions.
He also urged people to work from home if they can after previously asking people to leave their homes and return to offices.