The new Nightingale Hospital set to open at Harrogate Convention Centre to treat patients with Covid-19 will use Silverlink Software’s patient administration system (PAS) to admit patients and track them across beds and wards.

The PAS for the new 500 bed hospital will be offered as an extension to the existing Silverlink system used by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, which will manage the IT systems for the Nightingale site.

Digital Health News understands that, while IT structures are being handled by Harrogate and District, clinical staff for the new Nightingale hospital are being drafted in from Leeds Teaching Hospitals, in addition to the volunteers being recruited by both trusts to support staff.

By extending the system already in use the North Yorkshire acute trust, healthcare professionals will be able to access underlying data about patients from across Harrogate as well as admit new patients from across Yorkshire and the Humber.

The Silverlink system is expected to go live this week, despite the Harrogate Nightingale site only being formally announced on 2 April.

Silverlink said it would provide the extended use of its system free of charge for “at least three months” while the NHS deals with the unprecedented demand coronavirus has placed on health services.

Tim Quainton, managing director for Silverlink, said: “Covid-19 has meant that the NHS is facing an unprecedented logistical, financial and clinical challenge, and we believe that technology needs to be simple to use and easy to deploy with high quality product support to help relieve some of the burden.”

The establishment of Harrogate’s hospital for Covid-19 patients follows the opening of the 4,000 bed NHS Nightingale mega-hospital at London’s ExCel centre last week.

As reported by Digital Health News, NHS Nightingale London will operate as an extension to Barts Health NHS Trust and borrow from its core clinical systems, including the hospital’s Cerner Millenium EPR, Sectra radiology information system (RIS) and CliniSys pathology software.

The site was set up in less than a week, in what has been heralded as an extraordinary feat of planning and execution by IT teams.

As part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, additional Nightingale sites are being established in Birmingham and Manchester, offering up to 3,000 beds between them, as well as Bristol, which will be capable of looking after up to 1,000 patients.

The century’s greatest health emergency

In a statement, NHS England said coronavirus was proving “the greatest global health emergency in more than a century.”

“NHS Hospitals across the country have already freed up more than 33,000 beds, the equivalent of 50 new hospitals, and a ground-breaking deal has been struck with the independent hospital sector to put up to 8,000 extra beds – as well as staff and equipment – at the NHS’ disposal,” the statement read.

“These measures mean that capacity still exists in hospitals to deal with coronavirus, with the Nightingales standing ready if local services need them beyond that.”