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Yorkshire Nightingale Hospital 'extended for two weeks'

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image copyrightNHS England/Simon Dewhurst
image captionThe future of the Nightingale hospital is uncertain as the contract has only been extended by two weeks.
The future of Harrogate's Nightingale Hospital has been cast into more uncertainty after a contract for its use was extended by just two weeks.
The 500-bed field hospital is based at Harrogate's Convention Centre, which is owned by the borough council.
An NHS contract for its use was due to expire on 31 July but it has been extended for another two weeks.
The council said it is continuing talks with the NHS over when the convention centre can be handed back.
Nightingale hospitals have been built at conference venues elsewhere in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
They have begun planning for events to partially return this autumn, while remaining on standby as hospitals.
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Harrogate Convention Centre, however, says it can't restart events or plan ahead while it's in use as a Nightingale because of its size, the Local Democracy Reporting Service says.
A council spokesman said: "We continue our discussions with colleagues from the NHS about their future plans, and a two week extension has been granted to the current agreement to allow those discussions to continue.
"However, at this stage, nothing has been decided."
It comes after Boris Johnson last month announced £3bn to maintain the seven Nightingale hospitals until the end of March.
The plan is part of measures to safeguard against another spike in coronavirus cases over the winter.
The Nightingale in Harrogate has not treated a single coronavirus patient since opening at the peak of the outbreak in April.
The council faces a £9m deficit as a result of the pandemic, most of which is lost income from the convention centre.
The NHS is not paying any rent to the convention centre or the council.
NHS England has been contacted for a comment.
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