The Birmingham Nightingale Hospital has been put on standby. In the last three weeks it has not treated a single patient, and it now joins others in London, Harrogate, Bristol and Sunderland on the waiting list. Only Manchester Nightingale is currently treating patients.
The surprising development has been attributed to both the falling infection rate in London and Birmingham, and an expansion of intensive care beds in existing NHS hospitals. The hospitals will remain on standby in case of a second wave, according to a statement issued by the government when the Nightingale Hospital in Northern Ireland closed last week.
The London Nightingale is estimated to have treated a total of 50 patients, with the Belfast hospital treating 30. The Government has been criticised for “overreacting” in response to events in Italy, where intensive care units were overwhelmed.