War veteran Tom Moore – who has raised more than £27m for the NHS – yesterday opened the new Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate.
The 99-year-old, who raised the money by walking 100 laps of his garden, appeared via videolink to declare the facility open.
A virtual ceremony was held to open the 500-bed facility at Harrogate Convention Centre.
Capt Tom received a standing ovation from NHS staff and military personnel.
Watch last night’s BBC Look North report on the opening here, made available to Richmondshire Today under the BBC Local News Partnership scheme, here:
Speaking at the opening, Capt Tom said: “All the doctors and nurses throughout the national health service are doing such a magnificent job under very difficult conditions.
“Every day, they’re putting themselves in harm’s way and they’re doing it with a determination that only we can do.
“We must all say ‘thank you very much to the national health service,’ all of you, everyone throughout the whole system, who are doing such a magnificent job.”
More than 600 people worked to get the Harrogate hospital ready including members of the Armed Forces.
Major David Mortimer, military liaison officer for the hospital, said: “I’ve been really proud and so have all the soldiers that we’ve had working here.
“It’s been really empowering to try and find a solution to this crisis while there’s so much suffering going on.”
The hospital is expected to provide extra beds for coronavirus patients, if they are needed by local health services.