North Yorkshire's Nightingale Hospital to be used for the first time - but not for Covid-19 patients

North Yorkshire's NHS Nightingale Hospital is to be used for the first time – but not for patients suffering from Covid-19.

The 500-bed hospital, built at Harrogate Convention Centre, was opened at the peak of the virus outbreak in April.

It has since been on standby to take coronavirus patients if hospitals in Yorkshire and the Humber became overwhelmed.

But it will now be used for outpatient radiology appointments from tomorrow, Thursday June 4.

Staff at the Nightingale Hospital at Harrogate take part in a one-minute silence to mark key workers who have died in the pandemic.

Steve Russell, chief executive of NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and the Humber, said it will offer diagnostic and surveillance scans to patients with radiology referrals.

“A number of NHS services have been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as hospitals have had to prioritise the care of patients with the virus,” he said.

“The measures taken to introduce social distancing and manage hospital demand have meant that we’ve not yet needed to use the NHS Nightingale Hospital for its original intended purpose.

“We’ve therefore taken the decision to utilise the equipment and begin offering CT scans at the facility so that we can get patients seen quickly.”

The Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will be the first to use the facility, providing appointments seven days a week.

Patients who are isolating or shielding will not be seen in Harrogate and those attending will be screened before their appointment for any coronavirus symptoms.