The Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, The NEC Birmingham and Manchester Central are all British convention and exhibition centres that are set to begin operation as temporary hospitals within weeks following the lead already set by ExCeL London.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on 30 March that the SEC could be refitted as a new field hospital within two weeks. It would be run by the NHS and could have capacity for more than 1,000 patients.
Chief Executive of NHS, Simon Stephens had previously said, on 27 March, that he had given the go-ahead to build two more Nightingale hospitals at the Birmingham NEC and Manchester Central
CEO of the NEC Group, Paul Thandi, confirmed his company’s willingness to work with the NHS and MOD on the project: “We have been working with our brilliant NHS and the MOD to plan, build and open a field hospital as quickly as possible, to help combat the life-threatening situation our country faces in dealing with Covid-19. We will now offer the necessary resource and assistance in adapting the NEC appropriately, ready for imminent use.
“With the full and ongoing support of Blackstone, our majority shareholder, we are confident we can play our part to assist our NHS and MOD in our country’s efforts to combat the threat to life Covid-19 represents.”
Evidence of the event contractor companies’ skills on show at ExCeL were to be seen as standbuilder GES’s workforce was seen in action building the individual cubicles required at the Nightingale East London.
And in Cardiff, Wales, Health Minister Vaughan Gething confirmed he had approved £8m of funding to convert the Principality Stadium into a temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients.