Dozens of patients with Covid-19 have been turned away from the NHS Nightingale hospital in London because it has too few nurses to treat them, the Guardian can reveal.
The disclosure comes amid a growing belief among hospital management in the capital that the Nightingale, built to great acclaim over just nine days, was becoming a “white elephant”.
The hospital has been unable to admit about 50 people with the disease and needing “life or death” care since its first patient arrived at the site, in the ExCeL exhibition centre, in London’s Docklands, on 7 April. Thirty of these people were rejected because of a lack of staff.
The planned transfer of more than 30 patients from established London hospitals to the Nightingale was “cancelled due to staffing issues”, according to NHS documents seen by the Guardian. All the patients had been intubated and were on a ventilator because they were so unwell.