It took under 3 weeks for construction on the new temporary NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and the Humber to be completed, with the hospital opening on the 21st April.
The hospital is based in Harrogate Convention Centre and provides 500 beds for Covid-19 patients if local services require.
The new hospital is one of seven to be set up around the UK and provides extra capacity on top of the 33,000 additional beds freed up across NHS hospitals;
This is the equivalent of building 50 district hospitals.
The hospital was officially opened by Captain Tom Moore in honour of his fundraising on behalf of the NHS.
He was joined by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock and Chief Executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens.
The opening was conducted by video link in line with social distancing policies.
Steve Russell, Chief Executive, NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and The Humber, said:
“This new NHS Nightingale Hospital – like the others across the country – is an extraordinary achievement, and provides local people and staff with the reassurance that there will be additional beds available if they are required.
“It is a vital insurance policy, which we hope will not be needed.
“Our doctors, nurses, therapists and other health and social care staff across Yorkshire and the Humber are working incredibly hard to make sure people get the care they need during what is the single greatest challenge in the history of the NHS, but they can’t do it alone.
“The most important thing remains for the public to continue to follow expert advice and stay at home – reducing the number of people who get the virus, and therefore the need for NHS treatment.”
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP said:
“I have been incredibly impressed by the sheer dedication, professionalism and altruism of everyone involved in setting up NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and The Humber – from the NHS clinical staff and engineers to the construction workers and military planners.
“It’s an honour to be asked to open this hospital alongside Captain Tom Moore. During this worrying and difficult time for our whole country his phenomenal achievement has reminded us of our common bonds and served to further unite us.
“My heartfelt thanks also goes out to all the staff who will be working on the ground, providing extra capacity for patients if local hospitals need it.
“The official opening provides an opportunity to thank all those involved who have pulled out all the stops to ensure that capacity still exists to care for patients with coronavirus.”