LONDON, United Kingdom – Health providers and doctors said on Thursday that hospital leaders in the UK were scrambling for hospital beds as the rise in corona virus cases was at risk of further affecting the system.
A conference that leaked suggested that even in a relatively positive situation, London hospitals could be more than capable within two weeks.
As numbers outside the southeastern UK grew rapidly, the UK on Wednesday confirmed more than 62,000 new cases in 24 hours, where clusters of new infections of the virus were first identified.
More than 30,000 people were infected with the virus in UK hospitals beyond the peak of the first wave.
The head of NHS providers representing hospitals in the UK said the sharp rise has forced hospital employers to consider transferring them to beds in nursing homes or care homes.
“Last week we saw 5,000 new patients in hospital beds with Covid-19 – this is 10 full hospitals worth of Covid patients … so this is a big challenge,” Chris Hobson told BBC Radio.
Hospital leaders “know there are some spare skills in the care and nursing home industry that are in the middle of a conversation with care and nursing home colleagues to see if they can access that capability,” he said.
The UK entered a tough lock on Tuesday after schools and non-essential shops were closed for at least six weeks as previous measures failed to curb the steep rise in cases.
More than 2.8 million people have been affected in the UK and more than 1,000 deaths have been reported in the 28 days since a positive test on Wednesday – the highest number since April.
‘Take Lock Down Seriously’
This is despite the fact that the UK has increased the number of Pfizer / Bioendech and Oxford / Astrogenogen vaccines, with more than one million people already getting the first job.
HSJ, the website for health professionals, leaked a conference with NHS London chairman Vin Divakar on Wednesday, saying the capital for general and critically ill patients could be as low as 1,500 beds by January 19.
In the worst case scenario, the deficit could be as high as 4,400 beds, it said.
Rupert Pierce, an intensive care medical professor at Queen Mary’s University of London, who works at the Royal London Hospital, said the hospital’s capacity was at risk if people did not heed the anti – virus lock rules.
Asked if he had been asked by the BBC if the NHS would increase in two weeks, he said: “I have never thought I would say something like this in my entire life, but yes, I do.”
“If we don’t take the lockout seriously, the damage to the health of the whole country could be catastrophic.