The eight Nightingale surge hubs set up to cope with the Omnicom variant cost £10.6million to build and have only treated seven patients, it was revealed today. The only one has actually seen any patients is the Royal Preston Hospital (pictured). It had treated just seven patients by last Friday (28th January), meaning the NHS has spent the equivalent of £1.5million per patient. The other hubs — in London, Leeds, Solihull, Leicester, Stevenage, Ashford and Bristol — have stood empty.
Meanwhile, medical staff at the Royal Preston Hospital are no longer able to access hot meals from their staff canteen as this area is part of the new surge Covid facility.
The NHS rapidly constructed these eight overflow units at the height of the fourth wave in December as Boris Johnson put the NHS on a war footing against Covid.
They have been designed to hold up to 100 patients, but staffing these facilities has been a major problem.
This £10.6m spent on the eight hubs is additional to the £500million spent on England’s original Nightingale hospitals, that also stood empty for months before being mothballed.