Interserve, Vinci and McAlpine have all been working on the projects

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Nightingale hospitals built to help handle the coronavirus pandemic have opened in Birmingham and Manchester.

The new hospital at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, built by Interserve, was officially opened by the Duke of Cambridge and health secretary Matt Hancock via a video link yesterday. It will initially provide 800 patient beds equipped with ventilators.

As the principal contractor, Interserve built the first phase of the hospital on behalf of the NHS and the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

More than 400 employees and contractors and 60 Gurkhas from the British Army worked more than 86,000 construction hours on the project.

Interserve is continuing its work at the NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham, increasing patient bed capacity up to 4,000 beds.

Meanwhile, the IHP joint venture between Vinci and Sir Robert McAlpine has delivered the temporary covid-19 hospital in Manchester.

The pair worked alongside NHS staff, the Army, Mott MacDonald, architect BDP and M&E contractor NG Bailey to complete the 750-bed hospital from scratch in the grade-II listed Manchester Central Convention Complex in less than two weeks.

Up to 1,000 people have worked on the project, 24 hours a day.

It is equipped to receive up to 750 coronavirus patients from across the region who do not need intensive care but still require treatment.

Paul Hamer, chief executive at Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “This is a time to work collaboratively for the greater good and there is no better example of construction making a positive and lasting difference for society than the IHP’s work on surge centres.”

The hospital has been functioning since Monday – just 17 days after the firms were asked to start working on the project on 28 March.

NHS Manchester Nightingale facts

  • 1,000 people on site
  • Flooring = 14,500m2
    • Enough to cover Wembley twice
  • Walls (Hoardfast) = 3,400km
    • Laid end to end would reach the top of the Burj Khalifa 4 time
  • Data cable = 104,608m (65 miles)
    • Manchester to Liverpool and back
  • Data points = 1520
  • Completed in 13 days