Leicester Mercury

Patients who needed intensive care got it


PATIENTS who needed intensive care during the first wave of coronaviru­s received it, the hospitals trust said.

The Times newspaper has reported that a “triage tool” was used which led to some elderly people not being admitted to hospital and intensive care as part of efforts to prevent the NHS from being overwhelme­d.

The report claimed one of the documents advised medics that anyone over the age of 80 should be excluded, and that it scored patients on factors including age, frailty and other conditions.

The newspaper said that the document had been circulated in hospitals across the country.

Medical director Andrew Furlong said: “The story in the press related to a draft document out for discussion at the start of the pandemic, and for context that was when we knew very little about Covid and what we were seeing from Italy was health systems becoming overwhelme­d.

“That document was a draft and was not something that was ever adopted within Leicester’s hospitals.”

“In March Nice (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) issued guidance on critical care treatment for patients with Covid and that stressed the importance of making clinical decisions in the normal way and taking into account patient factors, their wishes and independen­t patient data and that is something that we adopted.

“As part of the learning from the first wave of Covid, we undertook research to look at how patients were referred to our intensive care units and that work will feature as a part of a report next month.

“Essentiall­y what that research showed was the decision to admit patients to our intensive care units was not influenced by the presence or absence of Covid or by sex, by race or by time of day of referral.”

He said clinicians involved in the research have drawn up a referral template that has been piloted at the infirmary and now rolled out across other intensive care units.

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