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"We didn’t anticipate running the Nightingale unit through the winter"

Wednesday 21 October 2020

"We didn’t anticipate running the Nightingale unit through the winter"


Work is currently being done to ensure the hospital's Nightingale Wing is fit for winter, the Minister for Infrastructure has stated.

Speaking in the States Assembly, Infrastructure Minister Deputy Kevin Lewis admitted that the “building was not originally expected to be used over the winter,” and that new heating systems had been ordered for the period.

“The original requirement for the building was for a short period of time, however for medical reasons that has been extended as an insurance policy."

Explaining the new plans, he said that the work will include 'retro-fitting,' “...a heating module to the existing air handling system, which has been ordered and will be installed on arrival.”  

In addition, he said that the department is, “...in the process of completing additional sound attenuation work on the oxygen generators in order to be good neighbours and reduce the impact of noise generation."

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Pictured: Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis said "a heating unit will be arriving shortly and will be fitted as a priority."

When asked by Deputy Rob Ward whether the unit could function through a severe winter, the Minister responded: “The specification is quite high for what is basically a temporary structure. The roof and walls are double skinned,” and consequently “the air pumped through the roof lining is heated, so that would melt any snow that lands on the roof.”

The Minister also revealed that repair work had already been carried out due to recent weather conditions, saying that Infrastructure had been “supporting the health team and have been attending some minor remedial works to mitigate leaks that have occurred during the recent heavy wind and rain.” 

He added: “although there was a small amount of ingress, this was on the inner side of the outer walls and did not affect the ward areas.”

However, when asked if the wing could be used for other functions outside of covid, such as inoculations, Deputy Lewis said it was not in his remit, stating that “it was built and designed for covid 19 – any other uses will be a matter for colleagues in the Health Department.” 

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Posted by Anthony Renouf on
The minister and his department must be the only people on the island who didn't anticipate that the Nightingale unit would be needed over the winter. The poor man must have been travelling off planet so he missed what was going on here!!
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Yet again a lack of forward planning by this Government. I have yet to be assured that there will be sufficient staff to cover all of the required roles, should this "hospital" be needed for a large influx of patients.
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