The answer is: fear
The Nightingale Hospital in London is being mothballed after treating fewer than 60 patients, and the others around the country are likely to follow suit. It’s all been a typically badly planned, costly cock-up.
It was announced on Monday that the Nightingale Hospital in London is to stop admitting new patients, probably from next week. In truth, patients have been thin on the ground from the start. Despite the claims of NHS bosses and politicians, the whole exercise has been an heroic failure – and a misguided waste of money.
The hospital was announced with great fanfare by the secretary of state for health, Matt Hancock, on March 24. The field hospital, housed at the ExCeL London exhibition centre, was planned to have 500 beds, with the capacity for 4,000-5,000 beds across its two wards if necessary. Working with the British Armed Forces and architects BDP, the hospital was formally opened on April 3 and accepted its first patients on April 7. Everyone seemed to agree it was an astonishing logistical feat.
However, it soon became apparent that the hospital wasn’t really needed. Before the UK epidemic took off, London had around 770 intensive care beds across all its hospitals. This increased by the Easter weekend to 1,555, with around 80 percent of them occupied. Wards in other hospitals had been cleared of other patients, so there was plenty of capacity for those suffering from Covid-19.