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Coronavirus: Pictures show transformation of ExCeL into NHS Nightingale Hospital

PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:14 27 March 2020

The ExCeL is being made into a temporary hospital to help tackle the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The ExCeL is being made into a temporary hospital to help tackle the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Work to transform the ExCeL into a temporary hospital is well underway as it prepares to welcome its first patients next week.

Military personnel move supplies at the ExCeL. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireMilitary personnel move supplies at the ExCeL. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The NHS Nightingale Hospital, as it will be known, will care for an initial 500 patients affected by coronavirus but will eventually have the capacity to treat up to 4,000 people at a time.

Members of the armed forces are on hand at the Royal Docks venue to assist with the transformation, including bringing in large oxygen tanks and putting up signage over the entrance.

The hospital, which will have up to 4,000 beds with oxygen and ventilators across two wards, will be mainly staffed by NHS doctors and nurses, although military medics will also tend to those requiring treatment for Covid-19. Some of the NHS staff will be those coming out of retirement.

Military personnel have been involved in the planning stages and continue to support NHS England by providing infrastructure, logistics and project management advice.

Military personnel move supplies at the ExCeL. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireMilitary personnel move supplies at the ExCeL. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The field hospital was announced by health secretary Matt Hancock - who revealed his own coronavirus diagnosis today (Friday, March 27) - earlier this week.

He said that transforming the venue in such a short space of time was “a remarkable feat in these challenging circumstances”.

Chief executive of the NHS, Sir Simon Stevens, added the field hospital was “a model of care never needed or seen before in this country”.

A worker puts up a notice at Prince Regent DLR station advising against non-essential travel. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireA worker puts up a notice at Prince Regent DLR station advising against non-essential travel. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Workers outside the entrance of the ExCeL. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireWorkers outside the entrance of the ExCeL. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Military presence outside the ExCeL. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireMilitary presence outside the ExCeL. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Soldiers unload a truck at the ExCeL, which is being made into a temporary hospital. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireSoldiers unload a truck at the ExCeL, which is being made into a temporary hospital. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A London Ambulance Service vehicle waits on a ramp. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireA London Ambulance Service vehicle waits on a ramp. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

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