The first NHS Nightingale hospital, at ExCeL London, was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles earlier today (April 3).

The new hospital, established in under a fortnight, will be available as soon as patients across London and the south of England need it. The Nightingales are part of a nationwide effort to respond to the greatest global health emergency in more than a century.

Other NHS Nightingale Hospitals are being created at the NEC, Birmingham, Manchester Central, Harrogate Convention Centre and Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. In Scotland, a temporary hospital is being built at Glasgow SEC and will be named the NHS Louisa Jordan.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS, said: “It’s nothing short of extraordinary that this new hospital in London has been established from scratch in less than a fortnight. The NHS, working with the military, has done in a matter of days what usually takes years. Now we are gearing up to repeat that feat at another four sites across the country to add to the surge capacity in current NHS hospitals. We’re giving the go ahead to these additional sites, hoping they may not be needing but preparing in case they are. But that will partly depend on continuing public support for measures to reduce growth in the infection rate by staying at home to save lives.”

Jeremy Rees, CEO of ExCeL London, commented: “Our country is facing the largest national emergency for a generation and our thoughts are with those who are personally affected. We are enormously proud of the NHS and the remarkable and unrelenting role they are undertaking, at this time. As part of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), the team at ExCeL, is honoured to play its part, working with the Government to support the increasing demand for hospital beds and save lives. Everyone working at NHS Nightingale has our full support and we wish them all the very best.”