Be prepared to see death most coronavirus patients on ventilators will die, NHS Nightingale staff warned – The Sun

STAFF at The NHS Nightingale Hospital are being told to 'prepare to see death' – ahead of the opening of the new coronavirus treatment facility.

Volunteers have reportedly been warned that up to 80 cent of patients who are on ventilators will die at the emergency 4,000-bed unit in east London.

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It comes as another 563 people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus – bring the total number of deaths to 2,352.

The NHS Nightingale Hospital, which has been set up in the ExCel centre, is due to open this week and will consist of two wards.

However, according to the MailOnline, the volunteers flocking to staff the facility have been warned about the amount of death they will have to face – as they are expecting a mortality rate of 50 to 80 per cent among those on ventilators.

Insiders say there also appears to be a shortage of doctors already before it opens – due to a lack of testing for medics, leaving senior nurse practitioners in charge on some wards.

The Government first decided to launch the temporary hospital in a bid to get a grip on the coronavirus crisis and to reduce the pressure on other hospitals across the country.

It is due to be opened by April 4 for only members of the public who have contracted coronavirus and military medics will work on the site to help stop the spread of the disease.

In particular, the Army have played a key role in getting the unit open for business in just a week.

A Gulf War hero Colonel Ashleigh Boreham, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is leading the construction of the facility – after dubbing the new coronavirus “an enemy you can’t see”.

And Col Boreham, who has served the Army since 1992, is confident of winning the fight against the virus.


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He said: “It’s the biggest job I’ve ever done. But you know what? I’ve spent 27 years on a journey to this moment. This enemy is different to what we’re used to dealing with. This is a threat you can’t see.

“Yes it’s a big job, without a doubt. But it’s achievable.

“I’ve got the experience. I’m the right person at the right time for this particular project.”

East London’s vast ExCel Centre usually hosts conventions, events and parties, but will soon be home to up to 4,000 coronavirus patients, looked after by 16,000 staff.

Five hundred beds are expected to be available for use this week, just days after construction started.

The Nightingale unit will dwarf all other hospitals in the UK, where the largest is currently St George’s in Tooting, South London, with around 1,300 beds.

Eamonn Sullivan, the hospital's director of nursing, said the facility will be able to operate as a large intensive care unit or a normal ward, depending on demand.

The Nightingale will also include support services found in other NHS hospitals, such as pharmacies and therapy treatment, Mr Sullivan said.

Meanwhile, he added that staff working at the Nightingale will be able to sleep at nearby hotels once they finish their shift.

Mr Sullivan said: "We have got the facility here at ExCel and there is many, many thousands of hotel rooms. It is a perfect location.

"If staff wanted to stay, they could stay, so it is optional. But if they want to go home, then they can."

An NHS England spokesman said the equipment being used at the Nightingale was all 'new kit' and had not been borrowed from other hospitals.

Just last week, a disturbing report revealed almost half of coronavirus patients who end up in intensive care are dying from the bug.

Data based on 165 UK patients treated in critical care units showed that 79 had died and 86 were discharged, giving a mortality rate of 47.8 per cent.

The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) study has been running since the end of February and has come out with some terrifying results.

The shocking statistics are likely to be as a result of NHS hospital doctors only sending the most serious coronavirus cases, around five per cent of coronavirus-based hospital admissions, to their intensive care units (ICU's) as a last resort due to a shortage of resources.

“The truth is that quite a lot of these individuals [in critical care] are going to die anyway and there is a fear that we are just ventilating them for the sake of it, for the sake of doing something for them, even though it won’t be effective. That’s a worry,” said one doctor interviewed by The Guardian.

The high death rate raises questions about how effective critical care will be in saving the lives of people struck down by the disease.

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