London's NHS Nightingale to be opened in 'days', Sadiq Khan tells LBC

8 January 2021, 14:23 | Updated: 8 January 2021, 15:24

By Kate Buck

Sadiq Khan has told LBC London NHS Nightingale hospital will be opened in the "next few days' - but will not be used for Covid patients.

Speaking to LBC's Shelagh Fogerty, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it will be used for 'rehabilitation' for non-Covid patients to try to free up capacity in our hospitals.

It comes after Mr Khan declared a "major incident" in the city after spikes in Covid-19 cases.

He said: “The situation in London is now critical with the spread of the virus out of control.

"The stark reality is that we will run out of beds for patients in the next couple of weeks unless the spread of the virus slows down drastically.

"If we do not take immediate action now, our NHS could be overwhelmed and more people will die."

There are now 35% more patients in hospital than were hospitalised at the height of the April peak, and with more than 50,000 new cases being confirmed each day it is feared the worst is yet to come.

Earlier this week London paramedics warned they were "fighting a war" with the virus, and the service is receiving thousands of extra calls every day as the pandemic rumbles on.

Read more: NHS staff at London hospital speak of exhaustion in rare ward footage

The Nightingales have remained largely unused
The Nightingales have remained largely unused. Picture: PA

The city has been dealing with rapidly rising numbers of the virus in recent weeks, with a study released last week showing that around one on 30 people in the city have the virus.

A majority of acute trusts in London - 14 out of 23 - are currently recording patient levels higher than at the peak of the first wave.