Responding to reports that the Nightingale London is to be placed on standby, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“Let no-one say anything other than ‘this was an amazing achievement’. Creating one of the largest hospitals in the world in days was a staggering feat. The fact that so far the London Nightingale and its counterparts have not had to deal with thousands of very sick patents is a triumph not a failure.
“It was right to plan for the worst and the fact that this has not happened is a tribute to the NHS and to everyone who has helped us avoid the huge surge in cases for which we were preparing.
“Today’s news reflects that we could be past the peak of the disease and that if we manage the next phase well, the Covid pressure on heath and social care should start to reduce.
“It make sense to keep the London Nightingale ready should we face another surge, and local leaders will be keen to explore whether and how it could be used to support the NHS as it resumes activity that has had to be paused or halted because of the virus.
“The same applies to the other Nightingale hospitals across the country. Health leaders should decide whether or not any of the extra capacity may or may not be useful as they restart a whole range of services.”