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More beds, ventilators and thousands of extra healthcare staff will be made urgently available from next week to aid the NHS fight against coronavirus, thanks to a major deal agreed between NHS England and the nation's independent hospitals.

Nearly 20,000 fully qualified staff will be joining the NHS response to the pandemic, helping manage the expected surge in cases.

The extra resources now secured by the health service will not only be available to treat coronavirus patients, but will also help the NHS deliver other urgent operations and cancer treatments.

The deal - the first of its kind ever - includes the provision of 8,000 hospital beds across England, nearly 1200 more ventilators, more than 10,000 nurses, over 700 doctors and over 8,000 other clinical staff.

In London it includes over 2000 hospital beds, and over 250 operating theatres and critical beds.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: 'We're dealing with an unprecedented global health threat and are taking immediate and exceptional action to gear up. The NHS is doing everything in its power to expand treatment capacity, and is working with partners right across the country to do so.


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