Leanne Aitken, Professor of Critical Care at City, University of London, is supporting the education and training efforts of nurses at the newly developed super hospital in East London.

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Dubbed the ‘NHS Nightingale Hospital’, the temporary facility is the first of its kind in the UK and has the capacity to treat up to 4,000 patients in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Professor Aitken was asked by Julie Combes from Health Education England (HEE) to join the team setting up NHS Nightingale and to provide training and education to healthcare staff who would be based there.

Professor Aitken has had a varied career in critical care nursing, including roles in clinical, management, education and research.

Her research focuses on interventions that can be delivered during and after critical illness or injury to improve recovery after time in the intensive care unit, decision-making practices of critical care nurses and a range of clinical practice issues.

Professor Aitken said:

"The importance of developing staff to be confident and prepared to provide safe patient care for these very vulnerable patients should not be underestimated."

“The team developing and providing the training comes from many different backgrounds and have shown enormous enthusiasm, dedication and creativity and it is rewarding to see the achievements.”

Professor Debra Salmon, Dean of the School of Health Sciences, said:

“Professor Aitken’s is highly experienced and adept at developing and supporting multidisciplinary teams, including those in critical care settings. Her internationally renowned reputation and expertise means she is ideally placed to take up this challenge, and we are all incredibly proud of her.”

London’s ExCel Centre, a venue best known for hosting exhibitions and high-profile sporting events, was transformed into a hospital space in just nine days.

The space is staffed by NHS professionals, student nurses, medical students and former health professionals who have come out of retirement.

With more temporary hospital spaces planned for the UK, the Capital’s ‘Nightingale Hospital’ will treat coronavirus patients who have been transferred from other London Hospitals.

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