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Providing end-of-life care in a Nightingale hospital

24 September 2020
6 min read
Volume 29 · Issue 17


Lauren Oliver, formerly Clinical Nurse Advisor, NHS Nightingale North West, outlines the challenges faced by staff in providing good-quality end-of-life care for patients in a temporary hospital during the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic

As we now know, COVID-19 is a devastating respiratory infectious disease with over 500 000 deaths globally and rising (World Health Organization, 2020). The death rate for COVID-19 is 0.66% rising to 7.8% in patients over 80 (Mahase, 2020), as such the need for adequate end-of-life care (EoLC) is paramount. When COVID-19 cases rapidly rose, the NHS quickly implemented a strategy to combat the virus. This strategy was to erect temporary hospitals across the country, now known as the NHS Nightingale Hospitals. The most successful of these was the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West (NNHNW), a 650-bed ‘pop-up hospital’ based in Manchester. It was erected in the space of 2 weeks in the Manchester Central convention centre complex, a massive convention centre able to hold up to 10 000 people, which began its life in 1880 as a railway station.

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