'Why Harrogate Convention Centre has been chosen as site for new NHS Nightingale hospital in fight against coronavirus'
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The Harrogate Advertiser understands that the NHS is looking to open beds at the centre this weekend.
Ahead of an expected formal announcement by health secretary Matt Hancock, Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones told the Harrogate Advertiser: "Should this be announced, I am very pleased that Harrogate is playing its role in keeping our country safe and well. We are facing a national emergency and Harrogate is playing a key role in helping our nation.
“The Convention Centre provides versatile space in a well-connected location that has proved itself over decades. It has been successfully used for high profile, high security sensitive functions, and I believe these factors will have been important in the government and NHS deciding we should host a Nightingale Hospital.
“This is the biggest crisis to face out nation since the second world war. The biggest thing we can all do to help is to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. In our area it is great that we have gone further and are playing an important role in the wider national effort.”
Mr Jones praised the Harrogate district's NHS teams, and said he hopes the new facility will help to alleviate some of the pressures locally.
He said: "Our hospital is holding up very well, there is no question of that. They are a quality organisation, however, we are looking at a few regional centres of these Nightingale hospitals to provide not just local but more regional capacity, and the fact that people have come to Harrogate, seen the facilities here, shows we have very good facilities.
"I think our local health teams will think that this is an addition, a boost and recognition of our area's capability and facilities, and it will help take some pressure off them."
"This a national emergency, everyone is having to take a pace forward, change the way they're behaving, change the way they're working, and this emergency is placing great pressures on all the teams in our health and care systems. The fact that Harrogate is at the heart of helping people right across our area is a very good thing."