Three temporary Nightingale hospitals in north of England asked to ‘mobilise’

Three temporary Nightingale hospitals in the north of England could be brought back into use to deal with the spike in coronavirus cases.

The facilities in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate have been asked to “mobilise” over the next few weeks to be ready to accept patients if needed.

NHS England’s Professor Stephen Powis told a Downing Street briefing: “We have asked the Nightingale hospitals in Manchester (pictured), Sunderland and Harrogate to prepare for this next phase.

“They are being asked to mobilise over the next few weeks to be ready to accept patients if necessary.”

It will be for local clinicians to decide whether they are used for Covid-19 patients or to provide extra capacity to maintain services for people without coronavirus.

The announcement comes as coronavirus cases across the country continue to rise, with particularly high incidence in parts of northern England.

Seven Nightingale hospitals were built in locations in England, including London, Manchester and Bristol, to create surge capacity as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Other sites included Sunderland, Exeter, Harrogate and Birmingham.

In June, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that they would be converted into cancer testing centres.

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