Temporary Covid-19 hospital at SEC ready ‘within two weeks’

The Glasgow site will initially have 300 beds available for coronavirus patients but could eventually treat 1000.

Temporary Covid-19 hospital at SEC ready ‘within two weeks’ STV News
Glasgow: Scottish Event Campus turned into hospital.

A temporary hospital being set up at the SEC in Glasgow to help deal with the Covid-19 outbreak will be ready “within a fortnight”, the First Minister has said.

She said the site would initially have 300 beds available with the intention to eventually be able to treat 1000.

Nicola Sturgeon stressed she hopes the temporary hospital will “not need to be used” amid expectations of coronavirus cases in Scotland reaching their peak within the next two to three weeks.

Addressing MSPs on Wednesday, the First Minister said measures had been taken across the NHS in Scotland to boost hospital and intensive care capacity.

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The Scottish Government later confirmed the emergency Glasgow site will be named after Glaswegian First World War nurse Louisa Jordan.

Sturgeon said the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care is 147 as of Wednesday, an increase of almost 100 since the same time last week.

The increase in intensive care patients will be felt by frontline staff in the coming weeks, Sturgeon added.

A total of 1153 confirmed or suspected Covid-19 patients are being treated in Scottish hospitals at present, she told MSPs.

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The number of intensive care beds available for Covid-19 patients has been boosted to 250, with plans to double it to 500 by end of the week and eventually raise it to 750.

This has partly been achieved by repurposing operating theatres in NHS hospitals, the First Minister said.

Another 16 people have died overnight after being diagnosed with the virus, taking Scotland’s death toll to 76, while total confirmed cases – believed to be an underestimate – rose by 317 to stand at 2310.

On the hospital at the SEC, Sturgeon said: “We expect this facility to be ready to care for patients within a fortnight.

“It will have 300 beds available initially with the capacity ultimately to care for 1000 patients if that proves to be necessary.

“But let me clear that our current hope and, indeed, our current expectation is that this hospital will not need to be used.

“However, we are preparing now, I think rightly, so that we are ready if necessary.”

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Speaking later in Holyrood, health secretary Jeane Freeman said the temporary site will be named after Louisa Jordan, a First World War nurse from Glasgow who lost her life in Serbia.

In response to a question from MSP George Adam about the name of the hospital, she said: “The name that has been chosen for that hospital is the NHS Louisa Jordan.

“That is in honour of Louisa Jordan, who was born in Maryhill, joined the Scottish Women’s Hospital in 1914, served in Serbia during the First World War and was the daughter of a painter.

“She cared particularly for typhus patients but unfortunately contracted that disease and died herself at the age of 36 and is remembered every year in Serbia for the care and commitment she gave to them.”

Ms Freeman added: “It is very good indeed that she will now be remembered in her native Glasgow.”

The move comes after the temporary hospital at the Excel Centre in London was named the NHS Nightingale Hospital, after famed nurse Florence Nightingale.