Coronavirus in Scotland: What is NHS Louisa Jordan being used for?

The nightingale hospitals built to increase capacity for Covid-19 patients will be used in the rollout of a Covid vaccine, leading figures in NHS England have said.

The NHS Louisa Jordan. Picture: Alan Harvey
The NHS Louisa Jordan. Picture: Alan Harvey

But the Scottish Government has not yet confirmed whether or not the counterpart NHS Louisa Jordan in Glasgow will be put to the same use.

Chief Executive of NHS England Simon Stevens said the nightingales will be used as mass vaccinations centres as soon as a Covid-19 vaccine is ready to be delivered.

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Saffron Cordery, Chief Executive of NHS Providers, added that the hospitals are more likely to be used to treat Covid-19 patients during the second wave, and will be a “critical part” of the NHS response.

Nurses make final preparations during the completion of the construction of the NHS Louisa Jordan hospital. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

The Scottish Government has repeatedly demurred over giving details of a Covid-19 vaccine delivery plan, with Nicola Sturgeon saying information will finally be made public on Thursday.

When asked if the NHS Louisa Jordan would form part of this delivery, and whether it is expected to play more of a roll in the second wave of Covid-19 in line with expectations from NHS England, a Scottish Government spokesperson said only that the facility “is playing a vital role in NHS re-mobilisation plans”.

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They added: “The facility stands ready to help manage any additional demand of Covid-19 patients for hospitals by providing care for individuals who have tested positive, require hospitalisation, but are in a stable condition and do not need critical care.”

The NHS Louisa Jordan was officially opened on April 30 after being constructed in a matter of weeks in the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) Glasgow.

It was built to provide extra space for Covid-19 patients, with initial capacity for 300 patients and a total of 1036 bed bays, but it was not used for this purpose during the first wave.

Its construction cost just under £31 million, with an estimated £2.3 million monthly running cost.

The hospital began to accept non-Covid outpatients in July, and since then has treated 4,000 patients, with diagnostics including x-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds, as well as dermatology treatment and orthopaedics.

Advanced Practice physiotherapists at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have used the space to see orthopaedic outpatients, while the Oral Medical Team have also held clinics.

Some plastic surgery, orthopaedics and dermatology clinic appointments at NHS Ayrshire and Arran are now taking place at NHS Louisa Jordan in order to help clear the backlog created by the pandemic.

More than 1,000 medical students have used the hospital as a training facility, including student doctors, dentists and nurses.

This includes students from Glasgow University and Glasgow Clyde College, whose Healthcare Practice Students have used the training area to practise skills including taking patient temperatures, checking heart rates, monitoring blood pressure, tending to wound dressings and moving patients safely.

Some training has taken place in person at the NHS Louisa Jordan, making use of the space for social distancing.

There have also been some blended elements with activities at the hospital being broadcast to students watching via videolink. The hospital was named after Glaswegian nurse Louisa Jordan who died in service during WWI.

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