Julie’s NHS Nightingale Hospital mission

Julie’s NHS Nightingale Hospital mission
23 April 2020

47 years’ nursing experience and working in humanitarian situations across the globe stood a paediatric nurse consultant in good stead when she was asked to help set up the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West within a fortnight.

Julie Flaherty MBE, who works in the children’s emergency department at The Royal Oldham Hospital was deployed as part of the senior clinical leadership team setting up the Nightingale Hospital in Manchester for Covid patients.  She spent three weeks at the hospital site in the Manchester Central Convention Complex and advised on standard operating procedures (SOPs) for how the hospital should run.  The hospital has 700 beds which are a step down from intensive care.

She said: “I worked with a really strong team of clinical leaders (most of whom we had never met one another before) and found something really unique in a highly functioning team all pulling together for the same goal.  We had time and resource pressures with a very tight deadline to have the whole place up and running from start to finish in two weeks. As well as the procurement, and planning, there was a whole mound of standard operating procedures (SOP) which had to be developed that would guide the smooth running of the hospital on a day to day basis, from referral of patients in, admission, care of patients on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), care of the recuperating and rehabilitation, through to care of the dying and palliative patients, to discharge home.

“I stayed for the third week to help with the education, training and development of the clinical teams and was instrumental in the dedicated simulation sessions which were run on a daily basis as the staff became familiar with the new hospital and the processes of working in a very different environment and team.

“It was with professionalism, dedication, endeavour and determination that every one of the clinical team and myself fulfilled our responsibility to accomplish the Nightingale North West Hospital in two weeks!”

The first patient was admitted to the hospital on 13 April.