COVID-19 UPDATE: Tuesday 24 March
Temporary hospital for London
In today’s government briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that a temporary hospital, the NHS Nightingale Hospital, will be set up at London’s Excel exhibition centre. The military will help commission this emergency facility which will consist of two wards and a is designed to take up to 4,000 patients.
NHS volunteers required
Today, the government announced its need for 250,000 "NHS volunteers" to support national health service employees with shopping and delivering medicines. This is in addition to Social Work England’s drive to temporarily register up to 8,000 former practitioners. To date, 11,788 former medical professionals have responded to the call to return to active service. This number includes 2,660 doctors and 6,147 nurses.
Antibody tests procured to test for the virus
The government has bought 3.5 million tests which will show whether an individual has contracted the virus.
£1.6bn for councils to shore up social care services against coronavirus
Councils have been given £1.6bn to manage the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their services, including social care. The sector has also been given £1.3bn to free up 15,000 hospital beds before Friday 27 March.