30 March 2021
Jersey's Nightingale Wing is to be decommissioned and dismantled, following a decision of the Competent Authority Ministers. The temporary facility at Millbrook opened in May 2020 to provide additional capacity to alleviate pressure on the General Hospital for patients with COVID-19.
The decision to decommission the Nightingale Wing is based on:
- advice from STAC – the unanimous view from STAC is that it does not need to remain in place
- the expected effect of vaccination reducing serious illness
- the ability to manage COVID-19 patients within the General Hospital
- the increased resilience the General Hospital has in terms of oxygen supply
- increased options in terms of managing and supporting those with serious illness
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: "The Nightingale Wing offered us additional bed capacity and the knowledge that if we were to face severe numbers of COVID-19 in the Island, then we had the infrastructure in place to effectively look after our patients.
"Having now been through two waves of the pandemic, we have a much better understanding of how this virus works and the increased resilience, management. The support offered within the Jersey General Hospital and throughout the community has meant we no longer require the Nightingale Wing. Let us not be complacent though, we must continue to implement all necessary measures to reduce the risk of spread to Islanders and protect the wellbeing of our community."
Jersey's Chief Nurse, Rose Naylor, said: "Everyone involved in the delivery of health and social care throughout Jersey have handled this pandemic with amazing professionalism, dedication and care and we should acknowledge their role during this incredibly challenging time.
"The Nightingale Wing offered Jersey additional resilience at a time of great uncertainty for the Island and we recognise that we have come a long way in a year and learned a lot.
"Health care staff have worked together to ensure that the delivery of care has continued throughout the year and this has enabled us to manage effectively within the Hospital. We have also increased our oxygen supply in the General Hospital and, with the support of our partners, have been more efficient in managing the flow of patients. We are all very proud of all of our colleagues for the way they have managed this pandemic."
Work will soon begin to clear the contents of the Nightingale, with the ambition to reuse or recycle as much of it as possible. Some beds, furniture and other clinical equipment will be put into storage at a local warehouse. Once the Nightingale is empty, and the structure dismantled, the land will be returned to the way it was before the construction.
Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis, added: "The first job will be to carefully clear the contents of the Nightingale, and we want to make sure as much of it as possible is reused, recycled, sold or passed on to charities.
"Furniture such as the beds will be stored while we assess what future needs there might be. Once the site is stripped, the owners of the structure will come back to dismantle and remove the building, before we work to return the land to its previous state.
"We want to thank Islanders, particularly those living in the area, for their patience and understanding. We also thank the owners for allowing us to use their land over the past year."
Letters will be sent to residents who live close to the Nightingale Wing with further details.