More than a hundred NHS trusts could be overwhelmed this winter if coronavirus hospitalization rates rise to April levels, an analysis found.
A comparison of the average number of beds needed between December 2019 and February 2020 and the number of beds needed for Covid-19 patients in April at the height of the pandemic revealed astonishing numbers.
It found that, of the 132 surveyed using data published by the NHS, 115 should be overburdened if demand rose. It found that 115 of the 132 examined would be overworked if hospital admissions increased.
Four of the five NHS trusts that could suffer the worst bed shortages are in the capital. One of these is Walsall Healthcare near Birmingham.
The analysis comes as a leaked NHS document warns that without additional measures to combat the virus, coronavirus hospital admissions could soar to five times levels recorded in April – potentially overwhelming health care providers.
The paper was accidentally published online by a Kent health authority and suggested that even stricter social distancing rules may not include hospital admissions.
The UK saw the largest surge in coronavirus infections in 15 weeks yesterday, as 2,988 new cases were reported in just 24 hours.
According to an analysis, more than a hundred NHS trusts could be overwhelmed this winter. Four in five of the worst hit will be in the capital, including the Royal London Free NHS Trust (pictured above).
The UK has seen the highest number of daily Covid-19 cases since May after 2,988 were reported in just 24 hours
Another two people died after testing positive for Covid-19 today, bringing the total death toll in the UK to 41,551
Coronavirus "is not out of control in the UK," claims Matt Hancock
The Minister of Health has claimed the UK's coronavirus has not gotten out of hand after 2,988 were registered in just 24 hours.
He tempered fears, saying that most cases were recorded in under 25s in "affluent areas".
On today's LBC radio, he said, "This rise, if we have seen it in the past few days, is worrying, and it is worrying because we have seen increases in cases in France, Spain and some other countries in Europe."
“Nobody wants to see a second wave here. It just reinforces the point that people need to obey the rules of social distancing, they are so important. & # 39;
When asked by moderator Nick Ferrari whether Britain has lost control as suggested by some experts, Hancock said, “No, but the whole country must follow social distancing.
“We will certainly see cases where this is not the case and then take action.
Analysis conducted by Edge Health and The Guardian did not include additional capacity provided by Nightingale hospitals or the private sector due to lack of data.
A spokesman for NHS England said the healthcare sector is using a £ 3 billion funding boost to ensure beds are available in private hospitals and to maintain Nightingale hospitals through March 2021.
"Over the winter, the NHS will adjust hospital capacity and community services as needed," they said, "along with a major winter flu vaccination campaign."
Of course, while the number of inpatients at Covid is low at the start of winter, the success of these efforts also depends on fighting the virus in the community, including testing and tracking, taking rapid action to combat local outbreaks and of course continued public support for hand hygiene and social distancing measures. "
The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust would be most overwhelmed if the number of coronavirus hospitalizations rose to April levels, which, according to statistics, was 34.9 percent overcapacity.
King & # 39; s College Hospital's NHS Foundation Trust would be the second most frequently overwhelmed at 29.4 percent, while Walsall Healthcare would be third at 28.8 percent.
It is followed by the Croydon Health Services NHS Trust with 27.9 percent and the North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust with 25.5 percent.
Meanwhile, an online report by Kent and the Medway Clinical Commissioning Group warns that hospital admissions will rise five times their April level and could overwhelm health services in a "reasonable worst-case scenario," reports the Health Service Journal .
The three scenarios in the document – a "more likely" and a "reasonable best case" – predicted that hospital admissions would skyrocket during the winter months even with further lockdown restrictions.
In the "more likely" scenario, approvals rose before Christmas and did not decline until mid-2021, while in the "best-case" scenario, cases rose near the April peak and remained high for several months.
In the worst case, “tightening” the lockdown restrictions within the next two weeks would reduce admissions to half of the April peak, but it would take several months for that number to fall again.
A renewed imposition of some lockdown restrictions by mid-November in the "more likely" scenario would mean that the Covid-19 values would not fall back to the current values until April next year, with a similar waiting period for a decline also being forecast in the EU & # 39; I & # 39; m best case & # 39 ;.
The documents were included in public filings for the Medway Foundation's Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, but removed hours after a request.
They have been tagged as the "Kent and Medway" level, but labeled "Regional Scenarios", suggesting that they could be used by regional teams.
To cope with the expected increase in capacity, five Nightingale hospitals opened in the UK in April, capable of treating nearly 10,000 patients.
But they were mothballed without treating many patients. Only 51 were treated at the Excel Center in London's 4,000 bed facility and only a handful were seen in a Manchester facility.
The hospitals built in Birmingham and Harrogate have yet to treat a single patient.
Each facility is currently on standby and, according to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, can resume part of its intensive care capacity within 48 hours.
The number of patients hospitalized with coronavirus in the UK is 756, of which 69 are on ventilation.
The analysis did not include any additional capacity from Nightingale hospitals or the private sector due to a lack of data. The hospitals, like the one up at the Excel Center in London, have been mothballed
The hospitals established in Birmingham (above) and Harrogate never treated a single patient
Another 69 patients were hospitalized with coronavirus in Wales on September 4, although no further admissions have been reported for other nations.
Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline that yesterday's surge in cases was a "surprise".
"Coronaviruses usually appear in November and December," he said. "That came back earlier than I expected."
& # 39; There was a report that went to local authorities that peaked in January. I think that's probably right. Definitely December-January for the climax. & # 39;
Regarding the deaths, he said, “They are still pretty flat, but the way death statistics are reported is very late – so it's difficult to be sure what is going on.
& # 39; They show a small increase but are still very low.
“If you look at what happened in the US, you probably won't notice the deaths until a month after the case numbers start to rise.
“I think the number of cases is likely to keep rising over the next few months, possibly to the number we saw in March and April – maybe even more – but there will be fewer deaths and fewer hospitalizations , mainly because this is the case now in younger people. & # 39;
The number of new coronavirus cases announced today is believed to be lower as these numbers are compiled over Sunday when fewer testing labs are up and running.
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