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Coronavirus: University of East London offers free accommodation to Nightingale Hospital staff

PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:29 01 April 2020

A hospital bed and respirator at the ExCeL. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A hospital bed and respirator at the ExCeL. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The University of East London is offering free accommodation to those helping to treat coronavirus patients at the new NHS Nightingale Hospital.

Work continues at Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel centre, which is expected to open this week. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireWork continues at Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel centre, which is expected to open this week. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Throughout April, it will offer rooms to healthcare workers at its Royal Docks campus - just a couple of miles away from the ExCeL, where the hospital has been set up - as well as other critical support.

This will provide respite to staff who are working long hours, and a safe and secure environment for healthcare workers who are staying away from their families.

The field hospital is due to open this week and will have an eventual capacity to care for 4,000 patients with Covid-19.

It will be operated by Barts Health NHS Trust, which already runs Newham Hospital and four others across east London.

An ambulance crew await the first patients at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital to help tackle coronavirus. Picture: Stefan Rousseau. PA Wire/PA ImagesAn ambulance crew await the first patients at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital to help tackle coronavirus. Picture: Stefan Rousseau. PA Wire/PA Images

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UEL staff and students have already volunteered their expertise and skills at NHS Nightingale, including nursing, physiotherapy and technician teams. Others have volunteered for non-clinical support.

In addition to the rooms, the university is offering access to its equipment, office facilities for logistics and administration, catering and counselling services and parking facilities for both healthcare workers and ambulances.

President and vice-chancellor Professor Amanda Broderick said: “We’ve heard many amazing and heartfelt stories in support of the national effort to protect and serve the public and our local communities throughout this global health crisis.

Ventilators are stored and ready to be used by coronavirus patients at the NHS Nightingale hospital, a temporary specialist hospital being set up at the ExCel centre to help tackle coronavirus. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireVentilators are stored and ready to be used by coronavirus patients at the NHS Nightingale hospital, a temporary specialist hospital being set up at the ExCel centre to help tackle coronavirus. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

“With our Royal Docks campus located so close to NHS Nightingale we know that the University of East London has an important and central role to play in supporting the NHS, the government and the public during the unprecedented challenges coronavirus is setting us.”

Chancellor Shabir Randeree added: “Our outstanding NHS has shown the country what dedication, commitment and compassion truly mean.

“It is imperative that the rest of us do everything in our power to support them and provide resources where needed. I am proud that the University of East London is in a position to offer help.

“The university will continue to work closely with the government and the local community to ensure we are doing everything we possibly can.”


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