LONDON hospitals are less than two weeks from being overwhelmed by Covid even in the best case scenario, new reports claim.
NHS England’s London medical director Vin Diwakar delivered the bleak news to London’s hospital trust directors via a zoom call, according to medical journal HSJ.
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London’s hospitals could be overwhelmed in a fortnight, even in a best case scenarioCredit: REUTERS
London’s medical chiefs were warned of a possible bed shortage of nearly 2,000 across the capitalCredit: AFP – Getty
The “official briefing” given to London’s top doctors revealed that even if Covid hospital admissions grew at the lowest estimated rate, the city’s hospitals would be short of almost 2,000 general and acute (G&A) and intensive care beds by 19 January.
Three possible outcomes were reportedly described during the zoom meeting with London’s medical chiefs – each leading to potential bed shortages in a matter of days.
The “best” scenario detailed a four per cent daily growth in hospital admissions; “average” predicted a five per cent daily growth; and the “worse” scenario prepared for a staggering six per cent daily jump in London Covid patients.
On January 5, hospital admissions growth was 3.5 per cent for general and accute beds 4.8 per cent for ICU beds across the capital.
Medical director Dr Diwakar later told HSJ: “Hospitals in London are coming under significant pressure from high covid-19 infection rates which is why they have opened hundreds of surge critical care beds and are planning to open more, including opening the London Nightingale.”
The news comes as police are preparing to send specialist teams to remove bodies of people who die of Covid at home as forecasters predict deaths could soon average 1,000 a day in the UK.
Police have put emergency service teams – combining officers, paramedic and fire service staff – at the ready after yesterday’s figures saw deaths rise by over 1,000 for the first time since April.
Covid hospital admisions have topped 30,000 across the UK Credit: AFP
Sussex declared a major incident today as Covid cases soared across the county
The Pandemic Multi-agency Response Teams will travel to houses, care homes and hospices where people are believed to have died from the virus.
Health service workers will be present to confirm death, while police officers will investigate the death and fire services will drive.
The measures are designed to ease demand on ambulance services – and teams will prepare bodies to be collected by an undertaker.
The grim news arrives as hospitals across Britain are seeing a surge in Covid admissions.
Patients with the virus have seen a record rise with 30,074 Brits now being treated in hospital with the disease.
Sussex today declared a “major incident” after Covid cases jumped throughout the region – leaving health services to face “unprecedented pressures”.
And Covid deaths yesterday topped 1,000 for the first time since April as cases rocketed by 62,322 – the highest daily rise ever.
Buckinghamshire and Essex also declared “major incidents” last week as a jump in cases led to fears local hospitals would buckle under the pressure.
Essex called in the Army last Wednesday after overwhelmed hospitals began treating patients in the back of ambulances.
As cases continued to soar in the UK, Boris Johnson warned the national lockdown could last until the end of March in a bid to suppress transmissions.
The Prime Minister told MPs that only after the vaccine rollout is underway and the most vulnerable have been protected, will he consider lifting measures – with only the promise that “things will be much better by the spring” – and possibly as late as the end of March.