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Queen Mary professor to lead new NHS Nightingale Hospital

Charles Knight, Professor of Cardiology at Queen Mary University of London and Consultant Cardiologist at Barts Health NHS Trust, has been announced as the Chief Executive of the new NHS Nightingale Hospital London.

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Professor Charles Knight
Professor Charles Knight

The hospital is being built for Covid-19 patients at the ExCeL exhibition centre in Newham. Barts Health, Queen Mary’s partner NHS trust, will host the hospital and take on formal legal responsibility for its operation and governance, working closely with NHS colleagues across the capital.

Professor Knight, who is currently Chief Executive of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, has been seconded to lead the management team at the new hospital.

The facility is on schedule to open this week to care exclusively for Covid-19 patients from across the capital and could have a capacity of several thousand beds by the anticipated peak of the coronavirus pandemic this month.

On his appointment, Professor Knight said: “I'm deeply honoured to have been given this responsibility at a time of great pressure on the NHS and so proud that staff across Barts Health are rising to this challenge so magnificently.”

Ian Peters, chair of Barts Health, added: “We are facing a profound crisis requiring bold and unproven solutions. It is an honour to be asked to embrace the NHS Nightingale at a time of national emergency. We willingly accept the challenge and will finalise arrangements in the next few days.”

Queen Mary is also providing additional support to Barts Health and the NHS Nightingale through volunteer scientists who will be helping to conduct clinical research into Covid-19 at hospital sites.