Over the next few weeks the Nightingale will get an extra 294 intensive care beds to treat critically ill patients across London

The expansion plan is also down to public health ministers’ fears that there will be a second peak of the virus once social distancing measures are relaxed.
They are concerned there will be a second peak and that things wont get better as quickly as they thought, simply because people will start laxing on the rules and pushing the boundaries, the source said. 
Sir David said the new plan for NHS Nightingale will allow Londons healthcare to avoid a perfect storm of insufficient critical care capacity.
When social distancing is relaxed, our plans for the future of Londons healthcare will rely upon new models of care and treatmentand sustained reliance on the expert site for critical care that the NHS Nightingale Hospital will provide, he wrote. 
Utilising the Nightingale will enable us to be well positioned to avoid a perfect storm of insufficient critical care capacity that would otherwise prove an unnecessary restraint on the recovery of elective capacity, emergency care, covid-19 and winter pressure[s].
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the plan to expand Nightingale makes perfect sense.  The challenge the NHS will face as the peak of the virus is reached will be to restore care and treatment to many patients who have been denied support while the system geared up to cope with this crisis, Mr Dickson said. 
Make no mistake, the NHS has moved mountains and developed a level of service everyone said would be impossible. Now over the next few weeks it will have to start moving towards a different approach. 
It will need to keep a good level of service for COVID-19 patients, have the ability to flex again in case there is another surge, and at the same time start to manage the huge unmet demand the emergency has caused. 
Using Nightingale capacity for COVID-19 patients is one way to do this and allow hospitals to start re-establishing some services that have been curtained or stopped.
The move comes after it was reported that tens of thousands of NHS hospital beds remain unoccupied amid the coronavirus crisis due to the efforts to free up space.
Figures from the national NHS operational dashboard show that 40.9 per cent of the 91,600 general acute beds were unoccupied last weekend – nearly four times the normal amount at this time of year.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: It is incredibly reassuring for both staff and patients to have the Nightingale Hospitals ready should they be needed to deal with any surge, and positive that hospitals continue to be able to free-up capacity to look after any coronavirus patients who may need care.
We are grateful for the public for their effort and patience to further support the NHS by staying home to protect the NHS and save lives.