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IN PICTURES: 'Nightingale' field hospital starts taking shape…

IN PICTURES: 'Nightingale' field hospital starts taking shape…

Tuesday 14 April 2020

IN PICTURES: 'Nightingale' field hospital starts taking shape…

Tuesday 14 April 2020


Jersey’s £14.4m ‘Nightingale’ field hospital is on track to become one of the island’s fastest moving infrastructure projects, with foundations laid and drainage added in mere days.

The temporary building on Millbrook playing fields, which will provide at least 180 beds for covid-19 patients, staff facilities and a morgue, was only announced on Thursday, but the exterior is expected to be complete towards the end of the week.

Construction teams worked throughout the long weekend, removing the field’s topsoil, laying the hardcore foundations and all of the drainage to manage outflow from the health facility (see Express's photo gallery below).

Eight trailers of temporary structure arrived on the island from Neptunus, one of the world’s largest providers of temporary buildings, who brought their team to begin fitting together the ‘flatpack’ structure.

Video: What a difference a few days makes... The field hospital site on Friday and Monday.

“Behind the scenes, design work is progressing at pace, which includes the hospital layout and the ancillary buildings needed to support the staff. These have been ordered and will be delivered later this month,” the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, explained in a video update to islanders last night. 

“Alongside experts from the United Kingdom and Europe, a wide range of local businesses have been engaged to provide condition surveys, temporary electrical services, substructure works and utilities. The team are continuing to increase staffing levels to match the activities on site,” he elaborated. 

He went on to explain that the Glass Church had allowed J3 to set up its site office in the adjacent hall, and noted that a dedicated Health and Safety team were on site to ensure appropriate practices to stop the spread of covid-19 were followed, as well as standard building safety protocols.

Senator Le Fondré added that he was aware some neighbouring were concerned about the field hospital project, but pledged to provide regular updates.

Video: The Chief Minister gives an update on the construction of the field hospital.

The speed of development has earned praise from islanders and politicians alike on social media.

St. Lawrence Deputy Kirsten Morel, whose constituency includes Millbrook, tweeted: “It's incredible to think that in just a week, the exterior of the temporary hospital will be complete. Thanks to all the people working extremely hard to build the facility so quickly.”

The Chief Minister offered his “sincere thanks” to everyone involved in the project, noting that the island was grateful for them giving up an Easter shared with their families.

 “Their time and hard work now mean that we can save more lives in future,” he said. 

The Easter weekend also saw the official number of local patients confirmed to have the illness top 200.

According to the latest test results release, there are now 217 confirmed positive cases, though the true figure is likely to be ten times higher.

1,583 tests have returned a negative result, and 55 remain pending.

From this week, the Government has pledged to release the statistics of islanders that have recovered.

In the meantime, it is also conducting a household survey to get a clearer picture of the spread.

Although the latest figures appear to show that the island’s attempts to ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce demand on the health service are succeeding, the Chief Minister warned last night: “The demands on our Health services will increase, and we need to be prepared to meet them head on.”

He continued: “That is why the construction of the Nightingale hospital now is the right step to take. When the peak comes, it will help us to face it and manage it appropriately.

“It will provide the resilience we need to try to protect our most vulnerable and save as many lives as we can.

“That can only happen with your continued cooperation and support. Please, continue to follow the latest medical advice, and to comply with the stay home instruction.”

GALLERY: Work on Jersey's 'Nightingale Hospital' begins...

(Photos courtesy of Gary Grimshaw)

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Posted by John Ambrose on
What I've not seen mentioned so far, is how is this wonderful facility going to be staffed.

Health care in Jersey is short of staff as it is, just where are the necessary people going to come from?
Posted by Denise Shrives on
Well done to the States members who took the decision to build this Nightingale hospital, can you imagine how long it have taken if others were consulted - it would have taken as long to get a result at it has a new general hospital.
Posted by Jon Jon on
Amazing how they can spend 14 odd million and get this nightingale hospital be it temporarily,and yet they spend 40 plus million on simply fresh air at the original hospital.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
I would have liked to know, how many beds have been freed up in the Hospital "red zone" and how many people are in hospital at this time. It MIGHT be necessary to have this temporary hospital, but without TRUST and full information from the Chief Minister, how are we to know.
Posted by Paul Troalic on
But do we need it? That is the burning question. It will either be a life saver or a massive waste of our money.
Either way the money will need to be repaid according to Sen Gorst. Like it’s THEIR money!
Posted by Scott Mills on
Denise, it's wasn't a pioneering decision, they've just copied what some cities have done in the UK. These members are and still are involved in the new hospital site decision. Don't crank open the champagne just yet
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