Less than four weeks since work began, the NHS Nightingale Hospital North East was officially launched on Tuesday, 5th May by the Countess of Wessex.
Prodec Networks is proud to have been involved with this project and the fantastic work its team delivered as one of the trusted contractors selected to provide IT support and services.
The work completed by Prodec Networks included the supply, installation and configuration of telephony and video communication systems to be used by hospital staff.
“Reflecting on a remarkable few weeks, I’m immensely proud of the professionalism, dedication and work ethic of all Prodec team members involved with this project,” said Prodec Networks, CEO, Russell Barley.
"It is a testament to our reputation as a trusted integrator of vital IT services for NHS Trusts across the UK.
“We are, and always will be, in complete awe of the NHS heroes and the incredible work they do. We feel honoured and privileged to have had the opportunity to play a part in the delivery of this important project."
Serving the region, the temporary hospital based in Washington will be able to provide up to 460 ventilated beds for patients with Covid19, should local services require them.
The new facility is one of seven Nightingale hospitals to be set up around the country as part of a massive NHS effort to respond to the greatest global health emergency in more than a century.
This extra capacity is on top of the 33,000 additional beds freed up across NHS hospitals – the equivalent of building 50 district general hospitals – and the up to 8,000 beds put at the NHS’s disposal through an unprecedented deal with the independent sector.
These measures combined mean that at all times there has been enough capacity in hospitals to care for patients with coronavirus as well as all other patients who may need urgent and emergency treatment, with the Nightingales standing ready if local services need them beyond that.
While new infections are currently decreasing, the Nightingale hospitals will remain in place initially in case of a new peak, and beyond that to help local NHS services plan to bring back non-urgent services such as routine operations.
NHS teams, construction contractors, civic partners and the Army have pulled together in an unprecedented effort to build the temporary hospital, which will be staffed as part of its collaborations with trusts from across the region.
Nightingale Hospital North East - Time-lapse of construction
The Countess of Wessex officially opened the new hospital and was joined by Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, chief executive of the NHS, Sir Simon Stevens, and local celebrities Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly. The opening was held by via video link, in line with social distancing rules, with live streaming to key sites.
Dame Jackie Daniel, chief executive of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new NHS Nightingale Hospital will provide extra, specialist capacity to care for coronavirus patients from across the North East and North Cumbria, should the NHS need it.
“Completing this facility in a matter of weeks is a huge testimony to the power of pulling together to achieve a joint goal and all partners involved – from the NHS, construction contractors and partner organisations – have worked tirelessly to achieve this. My gratitude and thanks go to everyone involved.
“Health and care staff, and people in local communities across the region, can be reassured there will be additional beds for specialist care if it is needed.
“Of course, we hope that we will continue to infection rates going down and existing hospitals coping well, but we do have everything in place to respond rapidly if need be, and in time it may be that we can use this resource to enable teams to restore those non-urgent services that have needed to be paused.
“For now the most important thing to emphasise is that everyone in the region can help the NHS to continue to save lives by following the expert advice – wash hands thoroughly and regularly, and stay at home if you can.”