A temporary Nightingale hospital is to be built at Millbrook Playing Field as part of Jersey’s response to Covid-19.
The Jersey Nightingale Hospital will create an additional 180 beds for Coronavirus patients, who will be provided with acute, enhanced and ongoing levels of medical care, including oxygen provision but not invasive ventilation.
It will cost £14.4 million and will be operational in the first week of May, less than a month after the decision was taken to build it.
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “We expect the number of cases to grow slowly over time and then to escalate, and the Jersey Nightingale Hospital will provide the extra in-patient care capacity we will need as our curve gets steeper and the number of Islanders needing medical support in hospital increases.
“Health and Community Services are recruiting and upskilling staff in preparation for the increase in demand and this field hospital is the other vital element. It is a significant investment, but it is necessary if we are to cope with the extra demand. We cannot allow Islanders to die because we wouldn’t spend the money that would save their lives.”
The construction team includes J3 who, as part of The McAlpine Group, bring knowledge of the fit-out and operation of the Manchester and Glasgow Nightingale hospitals. Senior clinical colleagues from Jersey General Hospital are working with UK’s National Clinical Lead on how to most effectively use the facility once it is operational.
Site preparation will begin today (Thursday 9 April). The aluminium frame and semi-rigid panels are being shipped to Jersey, and work to assemble the temporary building will begin next week. The building, which will be 150 metres by 30 metres, will provide enough space for six wards, each with 30 beds, as well as areas for patient admissions and discharge, staff changing and rest, X-ray, equipment storage, laundry and a morgue.
Senator Le Fondré said: “Our objective is to increase capacity and support staffing and additional beds while using the current workforce resources available in Jersey. By having beds set out in rows in the Nightingale configuration, we are enabling our staff to work most efficiently, and will be in the best position we can be to meet increased demand.
“Millbrook was identified as the most suitable site after a review of 16 sites against criteria including available space, topography, accessibility and access to infrastructure. I want to place on record my thanks to the family of the late Lord Trent for their support and willingness to allow the site to be used for the Jersey Nightingale Hospital.”
Fort Regent and hotels were among the sites rejected, because they would not enable a Nightingale configuration of beds to be used, making the layout less efficient and adding to the demand for more clinical staff. Millbrook was selected over People’s Park, Lower Victoria Park, Les Jardin Car Park and FB Playing Fields because of its access to electricity and drainage and its accessibility.
The Nightingale Hospital Project Team includes representatives from Health and Community Services, Growth, Housing and Environment, the military, who will help with the hospital construction, and from the construction industry.
Senator Le Fondré said: "Although we continue to pull out all the stops, we do need Islanders to play their part. We can all make a difference by complying with the Government’s instructions and staying at home.
"The need to establish this new hospital underlines the serious nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it shows how seriously it is being responded to, and I hope that Islanders are reassured by the swiftness of this action."
Government of Jersey News Release.