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Construction of Nightingale 'surge hub' at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford almost complete


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New pictures show the Nightingale 'surge hub' at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford taking shape as construction is expected to finish this week.

The facility is being set up on the main car park and will be able to cater for up to 100 people to provide extra capacity for patients with Covid-19.

The new Nightingale unit at the William Harvey. Pictures: Barry Goodwin
The new Nightingale unit at the William Harvey. Pictures: Barry Goodwin
The facility is expected to be kitted out this week
The facility is expected to be kitted out this week

It will only open if an increase in hospital admissions, driven by the Omicron variant, means current capacity no longer meets demand.

Construction of the hub is expected to be complete this week however KentOnline understands it is not likely to take on patients until the end of the month.

Ashford MP Damian Green said: "I think they'll kit it out this week, then be ready for patients within the next couple of weeks.

"I hope it won't have to be used because if it's not, then it will mean hospitals are able to cope with the current level of resources.

"It is impressive that the NHS can put these facilities up as and when necessary but they will need to know if they need to put patients in there or not and that could change quite quickly."

The surge hub will be able to cater for up to 100 people
The surge hub will be able to cater for up to 100 people
It has been built on the hospital's main car park
It has been built on the hospital's main car park
It's one of eight new 'surge hubs' nationwide
It's one of eight new 'surge hubs' nationwide
Work started on the unit at the end of December
Work started on the unit at the end of December

It is one of eight new 'surge hubs' nationwide which will be led by hospital consultants and nurses, but with other clinical and non-clinical staff brought in with rapid training.

Concerns have been raised over the reduction in visitor parking, but East Kent Hospitals Trust says it has staff on site directing people to alternative parking sites while the area is out of use.

Mr Green added: "Although it's a huge inconvenience for people who need to park at the hospital, it will still be better than people having to use emergency measures to get through what I hope is the last part of the covid crisis.

"Although the previous Nightingale hospitals were not used very much, it was a sensible precaution to take and I think the same about this hub."

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay has also questioned whether a 'Nightingale medical hub’ to cope with patients with Covid will be needed despite escalating numbers contracting the virus.

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