The federal government has instructed three Nightingale hospitals within the north of England — Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate — to organize to simply accept Covid-19 sufferers, as quickly rising infections translate right into a surge within the variety of individuals prone to want intensive remedy within the subsequent few weeks.
Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director, instructed a media briefing at 10 Downing Avenue on Monday: “We’ve extra sufferers in hospital with Covid-19 than earlier than authorities restrictions on March 23.”
The short-term Nightingale hospitals have been arrange in the course of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic within the UK to assist the NHS address the sudden enhance in sufferers requiring intensive care remedy for the illness. Though they’ve been largely mothballed for the reason that peak of the primary wave handed in the summertime, Prof Powis mentioned that, along with offering Covid-19 care, they may be used to supply remedy for sufferers with different illnesses.
Prof Powis emphasised the sombre message of the briefing by warning that if social distancing measures don’t management the virus, “the dying toll this winter can be too excessive to bear”.
He introduced too that NHS employees in high-risk areas would for the primary time obtain common coronavirus an infection exams even when they don’t have signs of the illness — a measure welcomed by Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal Faculty of Physicians.
On the identical briefing Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, was eager to counteract any impression that Covid-19 is barely an issue within the north of England.
He confirmed a map with knowledge offered over the weekend from the federal government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre, displaying case numbers growing in components of the Midlands and southern England at a charge much like northern areas, although whole numbers are decrease within the south. “It has modified in a matter of only a few days,” Prof Van-Tam mentioned. “That’s clearly a matter of nice concern to me.”
Jane Eddleston, an intensive care guide from the Manchester Royal Infirmary and NHS medical lead for Higher Manchester, instructed the briefing: “The North West has about 40 per cent of [England’s] Covid instances in the meanwhile and that is proving very difficult for us.”
Higher Manchester has skilled a threefold enhance within the variety of sufferers admitted to intensive care over the previous 5 weeks and an eightfold enhance within the variety of sufferers admitted to hospitals, Dr Eddleston added.
“The scenario in the meanwhile is that 30 per cent of our essential care beds are taken up with sufferers with Covid and that is beginning to affect on the providers we offer for different sufferers,” she added.