What happened to the Nightingales?

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what happened to the beds and medical equipment from the Nightingale hospitals. (90312)

Tabled on: 09 December 2021

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the total cost was of setting up, running and closing the Nightingale hospitals. (90311)
    Tabled on: 09 December 2021

Edward Argar:

Total projected funding for the Nightingale hospital programme was ring-fenced at £466 million. National Health Service providers are currently auditing the accounts for 2020/21 and the final spending outturn will be published in due course.

NHS England and NHS Improvement advise that regions were responsible for co-ordinating the redistribution of assets including beds and medical equipment from the Nightingale hospitals. Each host trust is responsible for managing a list of these assets. The remaining surplus stock has been collected and made available for national redistribution under the existing warehousing, asset tracking and logistics contracts.

The answer was submitted on 15 Dec 2021 at 14:57.


  1. oldtimer
    December 16, 2021

    We should conclude, therefore, that £millions was spent on facilities that were not used nor were they retained as an emergency reserve for just the kind of contingency we are now advised is about to befall us. Instead the NHS bureaucracy would like to lockdown the country again because it no longer has the bed capacity to cope with the demand it now forecasts. So much for its forward thinking.

    1. jerry
      December 16, 2021

      @oldtimer; The problem is not bed capacity per se,that is the easy bit, be they in exhibition halls or hotels, but staffing the bed capacity.

      1. Peter2
        December 16, 2021

        Isn’t that what clever people paid six figure salaries are paid to do?

    2. Brian Tomkinson
      December 16, 2021


    3. APL
      December 17, 2021

      It also give the lie to the government position that there was nowhere else to put people discharged from NHS hospitals but the care homes.

      The ‘Nightingale hospital’ facilities were empty! According to one newspaper report they only held ten patients.

      If the government had instead used the Nightingale facilities as an isolation facility, the needless deaths in the care homes last year could have been avoided.

  2. No Longer Anonymous
    December 16, 2021

    This shocking waste of money. We could have all been issued FFP3 masks by now that COULD actually make a difference.

  3. Know-Dice
    December 16, 2021

    Staffing, pure and simple…where were all those extra doctors and nurses going to be magicked from?

    1. acorn
      December 16, 2021

      Exactly, an HDU or ICU bed is of no use unless it comes equipped with HDU or ICU grade Nurse attached to it.

      Reply Exactly what I argued!

    2. Everhopeful
      December 16, 2021

      But in a ( totally unexpected) plague situation any bed, any medic, any pharmacist would do …until they too succumbed.
      In a plague worthy of destroying the entire western economy that is!

  4. Newmania
    December 16, 2021

    Hands up who thinks John Redwood has started banging on about Public Sector waste because he knows his calamitously expensive and absurd Brexit spending is about be hit families hard in the form of inflation and interest rates.
    How many times did I wag a stern finger, trying to explain to him that the fact the State can print money does not make it a cost free exercise? How many times did I write here that turning the cash taps on to submerge a Brexit recession could not go on? Now you will begin to see that his Parliamentary position means you cant have a holiday .
    Told you so , as I told you Ireland would be a mess – get used those words.

    Reply German inflation is currently higher than ours and the ECB has been printing proportionately more money. Current economic issues have nothing to do with Brexit and everything to do with the pandemic response.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      December 16, 2021

      Nothing to do with 2 years of Covid then.

    2. SM
      December 16, 2021

      Have you considered adjusting your nom-de-plume to Egomania?

    3. Micky Taking
      December 16, 2021

      reply to reply….As I said several times, the EU spite over Brexit separation would mean UK being economically hit for at least a year, and that was before Covid. I also claimed the EU would take a bigger hit due to the balance of trade much higher for them. Germany hit in car sales, other countries in various foodstuffs, and a general loss of tourism. The childish tantrums ongoing mean that more and more UK consumers are not buying and looking for suppliers elsewhere.

  5. Sir Joe Soap
    December 16, 2021

    So are the assets in use or not?
    How many lives were saved by this £466 million? Shout we have trained 1000 doctors instead?

    1. Micky Taking
      December 16, 2021

      The media showed them being built, empty and asked how would staffing work. No answers, no use and dismantled !! £466m wasted, or spent on chums contractors.

    2. lifelogic
      December 16, 2021

      or performed 46,000 hip or cancer ops or 460,000 cataract ops. still they can just wait I suppose.

  6. lifelogic
    December 16, 2021

    Hardly worth asking the questions is it? You can guess what the worthless, vague, delayed and evasive answers will be. Why do they not just say “get lost”?

    How about this for a question – The government is coercing young men and boys to vaccinate so has an estimate of the risk/benefit to them been done? If so what and where is it? If not why not?

    It seems almost certain that under about 25 it doing significant net harm – just from what we know already.

    Or – What is the estimated cost to the economy of net zero and the expensive intermittent energy policy? What is the estimate of jobs lost or exported as a direct result of this policy? How many jobs are lost for every ‘green job’ “created”? 2,3,4,5, 10+ my estimate is at least 4.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      December 16, 2021

      We can say with some certainty that more under 5s have been killed by lockdown than covid.

  7. Iain Gill
    December 16, 2021

    Nightingales equipped as they were without X-Ray kit, scanners, operating theatres, and unable to do many of the basics of modern medicine were only ever suitable for the least ill who only needed monitoring until discharge, or the other extreme of those unlikely to survive, and those two extremes could not be mixed in one unit due to cross contamination risks.

    The way the Americans did it of requisitioning hotels and making it one patient per room, with controlled air pressure to limit spread of contaminated air from one patient to another, was a far better idea. Where they did use big hangars they put individual tents around each patient, again with the air pressure controlled, to reduce cross contamination.

    Nightingales were only ever really suitable for casualties coming back from war, or similar, where most of the patients were young and fit prior to being injured. They were never going to work for people with lots of complex multiple complications.

    The real question is why they were authorised in the first place for an airborne illness.

    The other real question is why the other more mainstream beds across the NHS have been significantly reduced since before Covid first hit.]

    Reply They had beds with substantial kit and could have more added.

    1. Iain Gill
      December 16, 2021

      reply to reply, I think you have been misled, thats not the reality I saw, and I was reading the minutes of the calls between the senior medics in each Nightingale

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      December 16, 2021

      Reply to reply. your posts this week comprise a long list of reasons not to vote Conservative. Others might ape the silly decisions and mistakes, but they’re not there actually making them.

  8. Everhopeful
    December 16, 2021

    I keep wondering whether all the waste has been down to IMF orders to “spend,spend,spend”?
    Maybe the Nightingales (how unfair to drag her into all this) are our Afghanistan?

    And speaking of hospitals I went through the terror of my husband being extremely ill after his first jab and now my sister is very poorly after the booster.
    This is not how it should be!

  9. Everhopeful
    December 16, 2021

    The trouble is, they have no idea how to do anything properly.
    They don’t even know what inflation is.
    I see now that questions are being asked regarding under use of willing pharmacists in the jab fest.
    It would have made shovelling the stuff into arms a great deal easier…and less alarming.

  10. Original Richard
    December 16, 2021

    Another question for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (really the CE of NHS England as the Secretary of State is not in control) is to ask where did the money go from the multi-billion pound deal the Government made with private hospitals when I read in the Guardian :

    “The Treasury agreed in March 2020 to pay for a deal to block-book the entire capacity of all 7,956 beds in England’s 187 private hospitals along with their almost 20,000 staff to help supplement the NHS’s efforts to cope with the unfolding pandemic. It is believed to have cost £400m a month.

    However, the Centre for Health and the Public Interest’s report (Pdf) says that on 39% of days between March 2020 and March this year, private hospitals treated no Covid patients at all and on a further 20% of days they cared for only one person. Overall, they provided only 3,000 of the 3.6m Covid bed days in those 13 months – just 0.08% of the total.”


  11. alan jutson
    December 16, 2021

    Simple questions.

    Were the beds used in the Nightingale hospitals new, or did they come from under used assets ?

    If they were new, then surely that has now increased the NHS bed capacity has it not ?
    1 So how many extra beds are now in use, than before the Nightingales were established.
    2 How many beds remain is storage !

    Surely that is not too difficult for them to answer.

    1. Micky Taking
      December 16, 2021

      Has anyone been offered ‘unused NHS bed going cheap?’
      Or hidden away in a warehouse.

    2. Dave
      December 16, 2021

      Good questions. I was amazed how quickly the beds etc were ordered and installed- with absolutely no lead time needed. I was also amazed at how quickly the thousands of retail units were supplied with Perspex and all those ‘keep your distance’ floor mats. There is not enough manufacturing capacity to supply the tonnages needed- so when was the order placed, where were the stocks held, and given the inability of the civil service to manage a p*ss up in a brewery- who oversaw the operation?
      One could be forgiven for thinking that months, if not years of planning went into this.

  12. Everhopeful
    December 16, 2021

    Did the Nightingales disappear into thin air?
    What happened to them?
    Where are all those beds? And oxygen thingies? Did Pa Larkin happen along? “Nice little deal there Charlie boy!”.
    We were told NHS lacked ICU capacity.
    Nightingales were built. But no staff were trained. Why?
    And now it’s Groundhog Day!

  13. Everhopeful
    December 16, 2021

    I keep forgetting that the globalist plan for us is NO hospitals or doctors or nurses.Just be ill at home and be assessed over the internet.
    Another fantasy scenario along with cars for all without petrol, warmth without gas, education without schools, nutrition without food, jobs without offices.

    Looking at old vids, Johnson deployed troops back from Afghanistan ( just to put us on a war footing) and Medical Director of Nightingale Hospital, Dr Alan McGlennan did not seem to think that staff would be a problem.

  14. DOM
    December 16, 2021

    Physical propaganda. Constructing hospitals to create the perception that we are about to be hit by a tsunami of infection. Were they needed? No, of course they weren’t but then the NHS and the government knew that anyway before they were built

    1. Everhopeful
      December 16, 2021

      Very insightful.
      I bet you’re right!
      And he even got the troops in one the act (Churchill, war against virus rubbish etc ).

  15. Maylor
    December 16, 2021

    More evidence of lies and obfuscation from the Johnson government.

    The PM and his cabinet needs to face public and independent scrutiny for their actions.

  16. Bryan Harris
    December 17, 2021

    £466 million is not an insignificant amount of money to be wasted, given the Nightingale Hospital was never used, and now when the NHS is supposed to be under pressure, it is not there.

    More questions need to be asked of all of this, given that it was a useful idea, why was it closed down, and who authorised it? Why wasn’t the establishment mothballed rather than being dismantled?

    Then there are questions about how the Nightingale Hospital was going to be staffed.

    People need to be made responsible for bad decisions and a frivolous waste of our taxes.

  17. Ian
    December 17, 2021

    May in Trousers is not going to keep us out of the the EU, Nor will the Lib Dems !
    As for inflation, a lot of that is down to the policy. Of not using our own Gas and Coal, or Oil
    Now we are reliant on other Countries to keep us warm and the lights?

    We are running far to fast in trying to go Green, at huge cost to all of us.
    We can use other fuel in our cars and trucks, and not batteries in heavy trucks because of the weight of the Batteries , Ammonia is safe and is going to be used in airplanes and heavy shipping, our cars could use Hydrogen, with gas in it is being used already in some places, it would be easier than having to run alot of electricity all over the Country.
    All that the other two would need is to be put into the tanks that now we use for Petrol ⛽️ and diesel, this way you would just fill up as you do now, also the Tax would still go to the Guvernment in the same way as now

  18. Margaret Brandreth-
    December 17, 2021

    Today I have put a stop to being a nightingale. I am an ANP , having qualified in 1972 and taken more degrees and updates for all my professional life. I investigate make decisions , diagnose , treat illness. I refer to specialists when I read results or patients have symptoms which are of concern. I do all this in a 10 min patient slot apart from looking after the cold chain ordering vaccines , cleaning room and equipment after each patient. I do clinical procedures far in advance of todays GP. I am belittled; I earn £18.00 er hour which I wasn’t going to make much fuss about as I am due to retire. I have worked In general practice since 2003and havn’t got a pension here . I drive the patients appointments by assessing them all over phone deciding who is going to have a face to face consultation and prioritorise according to clinical need . Whilst the Gp clinical lead had been on a well earned annual leave for 3 weeks I have worked 3 weeks from 8.30 am until 6pm instead of 8-1 . For this I earned an extra £680 , however the tax of £680 has meant that I have earned nothing extra for all the extra work and responsibility. Come on if you want exceptionally qualified staff then dont take the micky .. bye bye private sector

  19. Yossarion
    December 17, 2021

    When did the English vote to have their Country broken up into Regions, or is this Gove and His Scottish Master Race at it again, just tell Him go Home and get elected in His own Country, far to many Tory Scottish Wets in England,

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