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All hands on deck to equip NHS Nightingale Hospital North West

On Friday 17th April, the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West officially opened at the Manchester Central Convention Centre. We’re extremely pleased to say that members of the Vivid Care team were among the hundreds of volunteers who worked around the clock to get the hospital built and set up in just two weeks.

The idea of a field hospital isn’t something most people are familiar with. So, we thought we’d share a bit about our experience working on NHS Nightingale Hospital North West. There’s also a photo gallery included at the end — the transformation is pretty impressive!

How did Vivid Care get involved with NHS Nightingale?

Since the COVID-19 crisis began in the UK, we’ve been making changes wherever we can to support health and social care services.

At the beginning of April, we invested in a second warehouse facility and increased our stock levels for essential equipment like beds, mattresses, commodes, and specialist seating. Anything that NHS Trusts, nursing homes or OTs were struggling to get we did our best to source.

On Wednesday 8th April, we received an enquiry from the NHS Trust in charge of the Manchester field hospital. On the morning of Friday 10th April (Good Friday) we were dropping off the first load of care beds!

After delivering the equipment, five members of the Vivid Care team, including Tristan, our Managing Director, volunteered on-site over the rest of the Easter bank holiday weekend.

What equipment did you supply?

In total, we supplied 90 beds, 50 shower chairs and 33 commodes.

Everything was delivered as quickly as possible to suit the needs of hospital staff and volunteers. The first load arrived in less than 48 hours! Here’s a timeline:

  • 5pm Wednesday 8th April – order received.
  • Friday 10th April – the first load of 60 beds arrive at Manchester Central Convention Centre and the Vivid Care team spend the day setting up beds and overbed tables.
  • Saturday 11th April – 12 more beds arrive on-site and it’s another day of assembling beds for our volunteers!
  • 1.30am Sunday 12th April – the team arrive home for a well-deserved day off. Later that day, 5 commodes and 9 shower chairs arrive in Manchester.
  • Tuesday 14th April – the 18 remaining beds are delivered.
  • Friday 17th April – all remaining shower chairs and commodes arrive in time for the hospital’s opening.

This gives you a little bit of insight into the incredible work NHS procurement and logistics teams are doing to coordinate all of their deliveries!

What was it like inside an NHS Nightingale Hospital?

As we touched on at the beginning of this post, being involved in the set up of a field hospital is quite a unique situation.

Our Managing Director, Tristan, reflected on the experience and summed it up by saying:

“My overriding thought was how incredibly people were working together in a time of crisis.

We worked closely with groups from the army and Network Rail, mainly unloading and setting up beds. But there were people from all sorts of industries — construction workers, gas companies, other suppliers — and everyone was helping each other out. There was a great atmosphere because everyone had the same shared goal of supporting our NHS. It was very humbling and something I’ll remember for a long time.”

Getting involved first-hand has given us even more motivation to keep supporting healthcare facilities and our hard-working frontline care staff in any way we can!

Our phone lines are open 24/7 to respond to any equipment requests from NHS and social care trusts. Please feel free to give us a call on 01423 799960 any time.

NHS Nightingale Hospital North West Image Gallery

Here are some of the photos taken by our team. They show just how much was going on over the weekend we spent assisting at Manchester’s new Nightingale Hospital!


Date Published

24 April 2020

Reading Time

3 minutes

Author avatar


Graeme Wilson

Graeme has worked alongside the public sector for much of his working life, helping departments improve efficiencies and deliver on projects. In his role at Vivid.Care, Graeme used his experience to tackle some of the most challenging issues in the healthcare sector, from falls through to winter pressures. He was also a guest speaker and a number of different conferences, including at the Falls Prevention Summit in London.


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