Nightingale Hospital in London placed on standby after treating less than 100 patients

The Nightingale Hospital in London is expected to be placed on standby in the coming days, and will no longer be admitting patients.

The showpiece Nightingale hospital, which opened on 3 April with 4,000 beds to treat Covid-19 patients, will shut next week after treating a small number of patients but will be kept by on standby in case there is a second wave.

More than 200 staff were on duty at the London Nightingale on Monday, despite it only having 12 patients.

In a briefing to staff, Charles Knight, CEO of the Nightingale London, said most of the hospital's capacity had not been used. "Thanks to the determination and sacrifice of Londoners in following the expert advice to stay home and save lives, we have not had to expand the Nightingale's capacity beyond the first ward." He added: "It is likely that in the coming days we will not need to be admitting patients to the London Nightingale, while coronavirus in the capital remains under control."

The Nightingale, built in the ExCel conference centre in the Docklands area of London, has been an additional resource to requirements in the fight against coronavirus because established hospitals in the capital coped much better with the influx of critically ill patients after hugely expanding their intensive care units.

Last week, it was revealed that the hospital had treated 51 patients in its first three weeks. A spokesperson for the hospital previously said it would be a "mark of success" if the hospital did not operate at full capacity. However, Mr Knight said it would stand ready to be used again "as and when needed in the weeks and potentially months to come".

The four other Nightingales that were opened to stop hospitals being overwhelmed – in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Harrogate – will also be wound down, though the London hospital will shut first.

Meanwhile, 288 Covid-19 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 28,734. It is the lowest daily increase since the end of March.