3 Nightin­gales of the North are put on standby

Daily Mail, Great Bri­tain (United King­dom), 13 Oc­to­ber 2020, https://www.press­reader.com/ar­ti­cle/2816296027­41364

COVID-19 News - - News -

THREE Nightingal­e hospi­tals are be­ing mo­bilised to deal with spi­ralling cases of coro­n­avirus in north­ern Eng­land.

The tem­po­rary crit­i­cal care hospi­tals in Manch­ester, Sun­der­land and Har­ro­gate have been told to ‘ pre­pare for the next phase’.

NHS Eng­land’s med­i­cal di­rec­tor Pro­fes­sor Stephen Powis yes­ter­day warned there are now more peo­ple in hos­pi­tal with Covid-19 than be­fore the na­tional lock­down was an­nounced in March.

He told the Down­ing Street press con­fer­ence that, un­less the spread of the virus slows down, hospi­tals in the North West and North East could be treat­ing more pa­tients within the next four weeks than dur­ing the virus peak.

It came as Liver­pool Univer­sity Hospi­tals NHS Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve War­bur­ton told staff in a memo that it had reached a ‘crit­i­cal point’. The move fol­lows re­ports hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions in Liver­pool are the third high­est in Europe – and are on course to be­come the high­est.

Mr War­bur­ton re­vealed plans to scale back on planned pro­ce­dures. In the mes­sage, seen by the Health Ser­vice Jour­nal, he said the trust had restarted train­ing for staff in prepa­ra­tion for ad­di­tional de­mand for crit­i­cal care and oxy­gen sup­port. Yes­ter­day’s brief­ing by Pro­fes­sor Powis and other Govern­ment med­i­cal ad­vis­ers set the scene ahead of the

‘Pre­pare for the next phase’

tougher mea­sures an­nounced by the Prime Min­is­ter last night.

Of­fi­cials said it will be left to lo­cal health lead­ers to de­cide whether the three Nightingal­e hospi­tals are used to treat virus pa­tients or to ‘main­tain elec­tive and di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices for pa­tients with other con­di­tions’.

It was an­nounced that NHS staff in virus hotspots will also be given reg­u­lar virus tests re­gard­less of whether they are show­ing symp­toms. Pro­fes­sor Powis said this mea­sure – promised months ago by min­is­ters – would be vi­tal to ‘keep staff and pa­tients at these hospi­tals safe’.

The pledge came days af­ter for­mer health sec­re­tary Jeremy Hunt warned the NHS risked be­com­ing a ‘Covid-only’ ser­vice with­out it. Of­fi­cials said the NHS was well-pre­pared and had ‘ learned a lot from the first wave’, with 14-day sur­vival rates in in­ten­sive care ris­ing from 72 to 85 per cent. Pro­fes­sor Powis said there is enough per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment for health and so­cial care to last four months.

Mean­while, in a plea to the pub­lic, he said keep­ing virus in­fec­tions un­der con­trol would be key to other pa­tients get­ting the treat­ment they need. He stressed: ‘Liver­pool Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal has the high­est num­ber of Covid- 19 pa­tients – cur­rently more than 250 pa­tients with Covid in its beds.

‘And in the last four weeks hospi­tals in the North West and the North East have wit­nessed a seven- fold in­crease in Covid pa­tients in their in­ten­sive care units. If in­fec­tions con­tinue to rise, in just four more weeks they could be treat­ing more pa­tients than they were dur­ing the peak of the first wave.’

Fig­ures show that 3,451 virus pa­tients were in hos­pi­tal in Eng­land on Oc­to­ber 11 com­pared with 3,097 on March 23. How­ever, de­spite the ris­ing ad­mis­sions, fewer pa­tients now re­quire ven­ti­la­tion, sug­gest­ing treat­ments like the steroid dex­am­etha­sone are work­ing. In the North West, 350 pa­tients were on ven­ti­la­tors at the peak of the epi­demic on April 11, com­pared to 132 on Sun­day.

In the North East and York­shire, 302 were on ven­ti­la­tors at the peak com­pared to 99 on Sun­day.

Dr Jane Ed­dle­ston, of Manch­ester Royal In­fir­mary, told the brief­ing the North West has about 40 per cent of all cur­rent Covid-19 cases. A Manch­ester Univer­sity study seen by HSJ says hospi­tals in the North West could see around 850 virus deaths within the next five weeks. Pro­fes­sor An­drew God­dard, of the Royal Col­lege of Physi­cians, said the brief­ing showed ‘for cer­tain that we are now in the sec­ond wave of Covid-19’.

He warned: ‘It is cur­rently cen­tred in the North West and North East of Eng­land, but it is go­ing to spread to other ar­eas.’

Stand­ing ready: Nightingal­e hos­pi­tal in Sun­der­land

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.