A NORTH-EAST NHS Trust has confirmed the region's first field hospital for coronavirus patients is currently in 'standby' and will be ready 'if needed.'

The Nightingale Hospital North East in Washington, near Sunderland, was officially opened by Ant and Dec and a number of local celebrities in May.

Thankfully, it has never needed to be used by patients in the North-East as hospitals have been able to deal with the coronavirus outbreak at its peak.

The Northern Echo: The trust was opened by Ant and Dec via a video link Picture: PAThe trust was opened by Ant and Dec via a video link Picture: PA

But the NHS Trust, which runs the site has confirmed that the hospital will not yet be converted back to a warehouse for the motor industry just yet.

The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has now confirmed the hospital is currently in 'standby,' and is ready to be opened, if needed.

A spokesperson for the trust told The Echo: "The Nightingale Hospital is currently in standby, and will be able to become operational quickly if it is needed to support the NHS response to covid-19."

The Northern Echo: It is located near Nissan SunderlandIt is located near Nissan Sunderland

For the past several weeks, Nightingale Hospitals across the country have been mothballed following the slowing in Covid-19 deaths.

The Nightingale Hospital in London, which was built in the Excel Convention Centre, was formally closed after treating far less patients than was anticipated.

It comes as the NHS has been given an extra £3bn in funding to prepare for a possible second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

If the North-East was too see a spike in cases and health bosses thought the region's NHS would be "overwhelmed," it is likely the Nightingale Hospital would need to open.