SECC Covid field hospital to remain open after closure of England's 'Nightingale' hospitals

There are no plans to stand down the NHS Louisa Jordan in line with the closure of England’s Nightingale hospitals in April, 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.

It comes after NHS England announced on Tuesday that the equivalent Nightingale hospitals south of the border would be closed from April.

The hospitals were set up around the UK as temporary facilities to cope with a surge in Covid-19, but non have treated patients with the virus on a large scale.

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The 1,000 bed Louisa Jordan has hosted thousands of outpatient appointments since July, including dermatology treatment, orthopaedics and diagnostics such as c-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds.

It is now being used as a mass vaccination centre.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said the hospital had been a “crucial facility”, supporting the NHS through this pandemic with the provision of a non-Covid pathway for urgent outpatient and diagnostic appointments.

They added: “It is currently still being used as an important site and any future plans will be shared at the appropriate time.”

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Ten hospitals were built in total, one in each of the devolved nations and seven in England. The others have been put to similar use, and those in London and Sunderland will continue to offer vaccines.

The 4,000-bed Nightingale in London treated 20 Covid-19 patients in the first wave of the pandemic, before later re-opening to treat non-Covid patients.

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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