Harrogate Convention Centre set to be turned into NHS Nightingale hospital in fight against coronavirus

Harrogate Convention Centre is being turned into a dedicated NHS Nightingale hospital in the fight against coronavirus, it is understood by the Harrogate Advertiser.

The Convention Centre is the latest facility to be announced as a chosen site, joining the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, the Manchester Central Complex, and the ExCeL conference centre in East London, to help deal with the rising number of coronavirus cases.

The Harrogate Advertiser understands that the NHS is looking to open beds at the centre this weekend.

The Convention Centre is the latest facility to be announced as a chosen site for a dedicated NHS Nightingale hospital.

Ahead of an expected formal announcement by health secretary Matt Hancock, Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones told the Harrogate Advertiser: "Should this be announced, I am very pleased that Harrogate is playing its role in keeping our country safe and well. We are facing a national emergency and Harrogate is playing a key role in helping our nation.

"Our hospital is holding up very well, there is no question of that. They are a quality organisation, however, we are looking at a few regional centres of these Nightingale hospitals to provide not just local but more regional capacity, and the fact that people have come to Harrogate, seen the facilities here, shows we have very good facilities.

"I think our local health teams will think that this is an addition, a boost and recognition of our area's capability and facilities, and it will help take some pressure off them."

"This a national emergency, everyone is having to take a pace forward, change the way they're behaving, change the way they're working, and this emergency is placing great pressures on all the teams in our health and care systems. The fact that Harrogate is at the heart of helping people right across our area is a very good thing."