Responding to the announcement that Nightingale Hospitals in the north of England are being told to prepare for patients, Susan Masters, Director of Nursing, Policy and Public Affairs at the Royal College of Nursing, said:
“Readying Nightingale Hospitals may relieve some of the pressure on wards and intensive care units, but it will increase the demands for staff.
“If nurses are to be deployed away from their usual jobs into frontline positions, such as ICU, they should not be put into roles that are outside their skills and competencies. They must be given the right support and training for the role they’re being sent into.
“The Government must ensure that there are enough nursing staff with the right training in specialist equipment such as ventilators to provide the level of critical care needed by patients who will be treated there.”