£56m 1000-bed Covid field hospital at SECC set to close without ever treating Covid patients

The NHS Louisa Jordan Covid-19 temporary hospital will close its doors at the end of March, the Scottish Government has said.

Health and social care staff queue for a coronavirus vaccine at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, as part of a mass vaccination drive by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Picture date: Saturday January 23, 2021.

The 1000-bed hospital, built in a number of weeks almost a year ago at the SEC exhibition centre in Glasgow, was never put into use as an overspill facility for Covid-19 patients.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the site had been set up as a “contingency” and that the Scottish Government hoped it would never be used to treat Covid patients.

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It follows the announcement earlier this month that the equivalent Nightingale hospitals in England will also close.

The vaccination centre currently housed at the Louisa Jordan will relocate to the SSE Hydro.

The hospital was put into use for non-Covid patients from July, and has since hosted more than 32,000 outpatient and diagnostic appointments, trained over 6,900 healthcare staff and students, and 175,000 Covid-19 vaccinations.

Once relocated to The SSE Hydro, the centre will continue to run daily clinics with the ability to administer a minimum of 4,000 vaccinations each day, with capacity to scale up to 10,000.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: I want to thank everyone who has supported the establishment of NHS Louisa Jordan. From the contractors involved in the building work, to the support staff who have worked throughout and the staff who have treated patients and administered Covid vaccinations, each one of them has played a vitally important role in helping to protect our NHS and save lives.

“We said from the start that this facility has a vital part of our Covid-19 contingency planning but we hoped it would not be needed to treat Covid patients. Thanks to the continued efforts of the public, we have been able to maintain capacity in our hospitals across the country and use this facility to remobilise health services and treat patients whose healthcare had to be cancelled last year due to Covid.”

The Louisa Jordan was opened in April after being constructed in a matter of weeks, with initial capacity for 300 patients and a total of 1036 bed bays. It cost just under £31 million to build, with an estimated £2.3 million monthly running cost.

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