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London’s hospitals will be overwhelmed by Covid patients in TWO weeks, stark NHS briefing warns 

London’s hospitals will be overwhelmed by Covid in less than two weeks even in a ‘best’ case scenario, an official briefing reportedly warns. 

Vin Diwakar, medical director at NHS England London, provided the worrying analysis to medical directors of the capital’s hospital trusts over a Zoom call this afternoon. 

Even if the number of coronavirus patients grew at the lowest likely rate and capacity is increased, including opening London’s Nightingale hospital, the NHS would still be short 2,000 general and acute and intensive care beds by January 19, the HSJ reports. 

Three scenarios are laid out for both G&A and intensive care – ‘best’, ‘average’ and ‘worse’. These account for the impact of four per cent daily growth, five per cent growth and six per cent growth respectively. 

Growth for G&A beds on January 5 was 3.5 per cent, with the rate at 4.8 per cent for ICU beds, reports claim.

The ‘best’ case forecast would mean the number of Covid patients in G&A beds rising to 9,500 by January 19, with non-Covid patients remaining the same at 7,460 – a number which remains constant throughout all the scenarios.

After small demand control measures, the total demand is predicted to be at 17,100. 

Possible ways of increasing capacity includes the NHS securing an additional 400 beds, with the independent sector finding 50. 

In addition to this, 1,000 ‘step down beds’, some supplied by the Nightingale hospital’s opening, and 150 made available by specialist trusts, would give a total capacity of 15,600 – still 1,500 short of the forecast demand. 

The ‘average’ scenario would see a shortfall of 2,900 beds, with 4,400 in the ‘worse’ scenario.  

The news comes as shocking footage from an intensive care unit revealed the extent of the coronavirus crisis and the strain it is piling on the NHS .

Emotional doctors and nurses were seen struggling at London ‘s University College Hospital while caring for the growing amount of coronavirus patients.

Operating theatres and some paediatric rooms have even been converted into intensive care units to deal with the ever-growing number of patients.

Emotional doctors and nurses were seen struggling at London's University College Hospital while caring for the growing amount of coronavirus patients

Emotional doctors and nurses were seen struggling at London’s University College Hospital while caring for the growing amount of coronavirus patients

The harrowing footage comes on the same day Britain breached 1,000 Covid-related deaths since the virus’s peak in April.

Department of Health figures revealed that a whopping 1,041 people have died as a result of coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

Footage filmed by the BBC showed the alarming reality on hospital wards.

One patient, Attila, 67, opened up about the trauma of suffering from the virus.

He said: ‘It knocked me out. I didn’t think I would make it. There is no oxygen around. It’s very frightening.’

A doctor went on to explain that if the hospital is forced to keep increasing its capacity at this rate it will only be able to last another week before it cannot provide intensive health care to all patients.

It comes after it was revealed that doctors may have to decide which severely ill patients to treat based on a ‘lottery’ if the NHS is overwhelmed this winter under draft Covid rationing plans.

Even if the number of coronavirus patients grew at the lowest likely rate and capacity is increased, including opening London's Nightingale hospital, the NHS would still be short 2,000 general and acute and intensive care beds by January 19, the HSJ reports (stock image)

Even if the number of coronavirus patients grew at the lowest likely rate and capacity is increased, including opening London’s Nightingale hospital, the NHS would still be short 2,000 general and acute and intensive care beds by January 19, the HSJ reports (stock image)

GP dishing out Covid jab says they have had NO doses despite being ‘raring to go’

A GP on the frontline of Britain’s great coronavirus vaccine push has revealed doctors have still not received doses that were supposed to arrive last month, amid fears Boris Johnson has over-promised with his pledge to jab 13million Brits and end lockdown by March.

Dr Rosemary Leonard, an NHS family doctor who works in South London, said her practices were ‘raring to go’ and had been waiting on their first batch of vaccinations since December 28.

But she claimed the delivery date has been pushed back three times already, with the first doses now not due to arrive until January 15, more than a fortnight late.

Dr Leonard, who also writes a column for the Daily Express newspaper, warned the vaccine roll out was becoming a ‘postcode lottery for patients’, and believes the delay is the result of ‘central supply issues’.

Despite being just days into the rollout of the Oxford vaccine, there has already been finger-pointing between the Government, regulators and the jab’s manufacturer AstraZeneca over who is to blame for the delays.

Matt Hancock and NHS bosses have suggested manufacturing has been too slow, while the Prime Minister has blamed the UK’s stringent batch testing rules which mean every deliver of vaccine needs to be quality checked.

It comes as independent pharmacists begged the Government to let small chains dish out vaccinations to help Number 10 fulfill its ambitious vaccine promises, which will require jabbing a mammoth 3million Brits a week.

MailOnline has spoken to at least half a dozen membership bodies which claim there are 11,000 pharmacies ‘ready, willing and able’ to assist in the rollout of the programme. They say they are being held back by more Government red tape.

New guidance also advises medics look at patients’ potential to contribute to society or their likelihood of surviving the treatment as a way to prioritise whose lives should be saved.

The protocol says that for patients who are in similar health and cannot be separated in other ways, a ‘random allocation, such as a lottery, may be used’. 

The document, published in the Journal for Medical Ethics in November, was drawn up by experts at a major NHS Trust in Bath in an attempt to come up with a system for rationing care in the event there are not enough resources to treat everyone. 

It being widely circulated among NHS specialists, according to the Telegraph, as some trusts struggle to deal with a tsunami of coronavirus patients with the new, highly infectious strain of the disease. 

Medical, legal and palliative care specialists at the Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust (RUHBT), who drafted the protocol, stressed the health service has not yet reached the tipping point at which care needs to be rationed. 

Numerous hospital workers are needed to care for just one coronavirus patient that is on a ventilator. 

Nine members of staff are needed to flip ventilator patients twice a day in order to help improve their airflow.  

And hospital workers are not only bearing the physical brunt of the coronavirus crisis. 

Many have been left emotionally drained by the appalling things they have seen. 

One nurse said: ‘My emotions are all over the place. I’m scared, sad and worried.’ 

Another nurse, Ashleigh, revealed that they are being forced to prioritise their care which will inevitably lead to a lower standard of care.  

The BBC’s medical editor, Fergus Walsh, said: ‘The staff are sell shocked. I saw staff in there in tears.’

He also revealed that there are currently 30,000 Covid patients in hospitals across the country – 9,000 more than at the virus’s peak in April.  

And although the average age of a coronavirus patient in intensive care is 60, Mr Walsh revealed that there were patients in their 20s who are being treated in ICU at University College Hospital. 

He added that doctors are eager to let the public know that urgent care is still available and if you are worried about ‘lumps and bumps’ or suffer a heart attack or stroke you should still be going to hospital so more lives are not lost unnecessarily.  


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