A NEW emergency hospital to treat coronavirus patients from across the North West has opened today after it was built in just two weeks.

The NHS Nightingale Hospital North West is located at the Manchester Central complex, and will take in patients from Greater Manchester, as well as Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and South Cumbria.

The hospital will provide oxygen therapy and general medical treatment for up to 750 Covid-19 patients who do not need critical care.

It will be staffed by consultants, junior doctors, nurses, healthcare support workers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, social workers, and a range of non-clinical support workers and administrators.

Patients will be transferred to the Nightingale Hospital from hospitals across the region, thanks to close links with community health and social care services.

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Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “The opening of the Nightingale North West in the heart of Manchester is an amazing achievement and my sincere thanks go to all those in Greater Manchester and beyond who have worked night and day to make it a reality – from construction, logistics, cleaners, Fire, Police and Military staff to medical expertise. You truly are the best of Britain."

NHS Nightingale North West is one of seven temporary hospitals which are being set up around the country.

It has been created in less than three weeks by members of the NHS, the army, the fire service, police, Network Rail, construction partners, Manchester Foundation Trust, Manchester City Council, and regional businesses.

Extra capacity created by the hospitals is on top of 33,000 additional beds freed up across the NHS.

The North West is said to have enough of the highest-level critical care beds available in existing hospitals, with the Nightingale hospital providing additional capacity for lower-level care, according Michael McCourt, chief executive of NHS Nightingale Hospital North West.

An initial 36 beds will be available at the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West, but this could be expanded to up to 750 according to demand.

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Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “It is exceptional to witness how quickly a brilliant team of NHS clinicians, military planners, construction workers and engineers have joined forces to build and equip a third NHS Nightingale, this time in Manchester, in less than three weeks.

“A huge thank you to all of the team, to everyone who has rallied round and made this hospital a reality, but also to all those who will be soon be running the hospital and making sure everyone in Manchester and the wider region receives the care they need.

“We all have a role to play in beating this disease and we must continue to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

An initial 36 beds will be available at the hospital, but this could be expanded to up to 750 at full capacity.