• “Nightingale Hospital North West” will effectively be overseen by Manchester University FT
  • Michael McCourt, who leads the trust’s community services, put in lead role
  • Will provide up to 750 “step down” beds for covid-19 patients coming out of hospital.

The executive team for Manchester’s new “field hospital” will be run by a community health chief with a significantly different clinical model to its London counterpart, HSJ has learned.

In a letter to leaders in the north west region on Wednesday, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regional directorate detailed the executive team for the “Nightingale Hospital North West”, which will effectively be overseen by Manchester University Foundation Trust.

The facility being created at the Manchester Central conference centre, known locally as the G-Mex, will provide up to 750 “step down” beds for covid-19 patients coming out of hospital.

This appears to be similar to the care model being designed for Birmingham’s new field hospital, but differs to the intensive care model being established at the Excel centre in east London.

It will be run by Michael McCourt, who is chief executive of the “local care organisations” in Manchester and Trafford, which are formally hosted by MUFT. It means the project will ultimately be overseen by MUFT chief executive, Sir Mike Deegan.

Other executive roles that have been confirmed are:

  • Chief nurse – Juliette Cosgrove, chief nurse and director of governance at NHS Professionals.
  • Medical director – Tony Redmond, professor of international emergency medicine at the University of Manchester.
  • Director of operations – Stephanie Gibson, former managing director of North Manchester General Hospital.
  • Director of workforce – Janet Wilkinson, director of workforce at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.
  • Director of quality – David Anderson, seconded by disaster response charity UK-Med.

Some leaders in the region have expressed concern about the new field hospital facilities taking staff from the existing hospitals. But in the letter, regional director Bill McCarthy emphasised the role that would be played by clinicians returning from retirement.

He said: “Military partners and planners are currently on site to plan the set up of the new hospital, with clinical model and workforce plans currently being worked through. It is expected that the facility will draw on the skills of the many doctors, nurses and other former NHS staff that have already volunteered to return to fight the virus.”

HSJ understands discussions are also taking place about opening smaller temporary facilities in the north west, though no locations have been confirmed.