Boris Johnson and the top NHS chief released a table tonight showing how England's hospitals could be overwhelmed with coronavirus in weeks – but top experts say the winter healthcare sector is still no busier than usual.
At a press conference on Downing Street officially admitting the nation into the second national lockdown misery, Prime Minister and NHS England chief Sir Simon Stevens referred to the graphic as evidence to justify months of intervention.
The graph shows how more than 11,000 people with Covid-19 are being treated in hospitals in England, compared to just 500 in early September. However, it did not show that these patients make up less than 10 percent of total health care capacity and that new infections are now apparently shallow.
Top pundits raged at MailOnline today that No10 just hit the lockdown panic button because it was cornered by its "dark" scientific advisors who refuse to bother with the same exam they conducted during the first wave to have .
To illustrate how hospitals would continue to fill in the coming weeks, Mr Johnson and Mr Simon also played an animation explaining to the public that the time it takes for a Covid-19 patient to get sick enough be delayed is hospitalized. The clip was meant to show how a wave of intensive care units got into the pipeline as infections continue to rise. unless drastic measures have been taken.
However, government statistics show that coronavirus cases have plateaued thanks to the localized three-step approach introduced in mid-October. It suggests that hospital admissions would not continue to rise as quickly as Downing St or its advisors claim.
Sir Simon said Sir Simon Vallance and Chris Whitty only brought a Covid-19 graph to clarify his position on hospitals. No10's top scientists have been accused of scaring and confusing the public with their deluge of doomsday charts based on projections, assumptions and forecasts – but rarely concrete real-time data.
Sir Simon spoke to the camera and said, "Like you – I'm sure the Prime Minister won't mind if I say this – I've seen these press conferences and sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with the charts, so I do All I have today is one chart that undeniably shows what we are seeing in healthcare.
“What it shows is the number of patients being cared for in hospitals across England. At the beginning of September that was less than 500 patients. At the beginning of October there were 2,000 coronavirus patients, at the beginning of November there were over 11,000. That equates to 22 of our hospitals across England that are full of coronavirus patients – these are facts, these are not projections, prognoses, speculations, these are the patients who are in the hospital today. & # 39;
Hours before the press conference, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that health services could collapse and seriously ill non-Covid patients could be turned away if the Covid-19 resurgence does not nip in the bud.
But eminent doctors and academics said MailOnline ministers twisted their priorities by sacrificing people's physical and mental well-being to save the NHS – which was meant to protect people.
They claimed the wards were no busier than this time of the year and that a large proportion of those treated for Covid-19 were either already in hospital when they caught the virus or were admitted for other reasons.
Boris Johnson released a chart tonight showing how NHS England hospitals could be overwhelmed with Covid-19 in weeks – but experts say the healthcare sector is still not as busy as it normally is in winter. The graph shows how more than 11,000 people with Covid-19 are being treated in hospitals in England, compared to just 500 in early September. However, the graph did not show that those 11,000 patients make up less than 10 percent of the total health care capacity
At a press conference on Downing Street to officially invite the nation to its second national lockdown, Prime Minister (left) and NHS England chief Sir Simon Stevens (right) pointed to the graphic as evidence of the month-long intervention down
To illustrate how hospitals would continue to fill in the coming weeks, Mr Johnson and Mr Simon also played an animation explaining to the public that the time it takes for a Covid-19 patient to get sick enough be delayed is hospitalized and eventually die
Professor Carl Heneghan of Oxford University, an expert in evidence-based medicine and practicing general practitioners, said his analysis showed that one-fifth of infected patients in the NHS had acquired the virus in the hospital, meaning they had been infected with the virus before they became infected Sickness taking up a bed.
NHS England has around 140,000 beds – including the capacity of the seven nightingales built during the first wave and thousands of beds commanded by the private sector – and currently there are only 11,000 Covid-19 patients in its hospitals. This means that people with the disease occupy less than 10 percent of the total capacity of the healthcare system.
Leaked documents suggest that the NHS is actually treating fewer patients at the national level than it was last year. According to the document, only 84 percent of all hospital beds across the country were occupied as of Tuesday, down from the 92 percent recorded in the fall of 2019.
It is true that a small handful of hospitals in hotspots in the northwest are coming under pressure after taking the brunt of a surge in infections in recent months. However, Karol Sikora, consultant oncologist and professor of medicine at the University of Buckingham, said, “This is supposed to be a national health service. For example, when the intensive care unit in Leeds is full, we can send patients to Newcastle. We do it all the time for different conditions. & # 39;
Both Professor Sikora and Professor Heneghan said that every winter the health system is put under pressure due to other seasonal illnesses – due to the lowest bed capacity per population in Europe – and still manages to get to the other side without the UK saying goodbye needs gross interventions.
Another NHS senior intensive care doctor made comments similar to MailOnline, but claimed they had been silenced by health bosses who threatened them with disciplinary action if they contradicted the hospital data used to justify the lockdown.
One said of this website: “In my personal view, a lock was not currently required. The data they used was conveniently sampled. The government's official rationale will be to make sure people are safe and lives will be saved, but I think the real reason is because they don't want to receive the same criticism they made the first time.
While the first lockdown successfully helped protect the NHS from being overwhelmed by Covid-19, it has had a catastrophic impact on healthcare across the board. During the shutdown, there were 27 million fewer general practitioner appointments than normal, leading to fears that other conditions like asthma and diabetes were getting worse.
Tens of thousands fewer than average people went for cancer screenings during that time, and there were hundreds more deaths from heart attacks. Almost a million people have lost their jobs since March, and when the vacation program ends next year it is expected to pick up again.
Intensive care enrollment was a far cry from the levels seen during the first peak in spring (represented in this graph by the National Intensive Care Testing and Research Unit), raising more doubts about the need for a second lockdown
Professor Carl Heneghan (left) of Oxford University and renowned oncologist Professor Karol Sikora claimed the wards weren't busier than they were at this time of year and that a large proportion of the people being treated for Covid-19 were either already in the hospital when they were caught Virus or would have been allowed for other reasons
It comes after a leaked document showed hospital bed occupancy fell to its lowest percentage in a decade this year, when medical professionals had to turn off thousands of inpatients to make room for a projected increase in people with Covid-19 create. After normal care resumed, a leaked report suggests that fewer than the average number of beds are still in use
Even during the peak of the UK's first wave of coronavirus, Covid-19 patients never made up more than 30 percent of all hospital patients, and tens of thousands of vacant beds went unused in the spring
Professor Heneghan added, “The continual opening and closing approach is incoherent and comes to the point where you are causing more harm than good and long-term harm to the nation's health.
“We have had time since May to prepare for this winter. It was clear that this would be a seasonal pathogen. We have capacity in private hospitals and the nightingales (which were built during the first wave but were not used). & # 39;
Speaking of doctors, who were reportedly censored by NHS chiefs for speaking out against the lockdown, he said, "I am concerned about the lack of transparency that allows people to report to the NHS urgently to submit any required comments on the processes. it is unacceptable. I am an NHS employee myself.
Intensive care units are no longer manned than usual, expired documents
Leaked documents have shown that the intensive care units for most trusts are no busier than normal at this time of year.
Eighteen percent of intensive care beds are available in healthcare nationwide, which is normal for fall.
Data from NHS Secondary Uses Services, viewed by The Telegraph, shows that even in the hardest-hit region, the Northwest, seven percent of critical care beds are still vacant.
The numbers show that there is still 15 percent “spare capacity” across the country – pretty normal for this time of year.
That's even without the thousands of nightingale hospital beds that provide extra capacity when needed.
Even in the northwest, the most severely affected region of the “second wave”, only 92.9 percent of the intensive care beds are currently occupied.
And at the height of the Covid outbreak in April, the intensive care beds were never more than 80 percent full, according to the data.
There were around 5,900 intensive care beds in the NHS in January 2020, according to the King's Fund.
It is not clear how many Covid-19 patients are in intensive care units as this data is not available. However, the number of patients on a ventilator – 952 on November 3rd – gives an approximate idea. However, not all patients with ventilators are classified as in intensive care.
“Functioning democracies require people to come forward and tell the truth, and we are denied that. If we don't have that, we won't have a functioning democracy. & # 39;
Health care is put under pressure every winter as people get sick from a number of other diseases and need care as the country penetrates deeper into the colder months.
Professor Sikora predicts that "at least half" of the 11,000 Covid-19 patients currently in the hospital would be there anyway under different conditions – although there is no data to stack his claims.
He told MailOnline: "Many patients have Covid, but they are in the hospital because they were sick before (got the virus). People with comorbidities have always come in winter since I was a medical student.
“Remember, these people may have chest and heart conditions, as well as other underlying conditions. A positive PCR result does not mean that you have been hospitalized for Covid.
“I've been a doctor for decades, it's no different from a normal year. We sometimes had to close operations to make room for more patients during winter pressures, long before Covid. & # 39;
The government has taken a closer look at the small handful of hospitals in hotspot areas that are under pressure after the brunt of a spike in infections in September and October, citing them as evidence that the NHS could be overrun.
However, Professor Sikora said the government should have kept its nerve and given the three-tier lockdown system, which was only introduced in Liverpool on October 14, time to take effect. Boris Johnson admitted yesterday that his localized approach was to lower cases and the R-rate in hotspots.
He suggested that the government's scientific advisors were nervous about coming under the same control during the first wave.
Professor Sikora added, “Yes, there was a sharp surge in infections from September to October, but the numbers have increased.
“It is clear that the government lost the conspiracy and gave in because it thought it would be overrun because of the propaganda presented by SAGE.
NIGHTINGALES are not the solution to easing the burden on the NHS, experts say
Nightingale hospitals are not the solution to relieve the NHS intensive care units, medical experts have warned.
Two high-level intensive care specialists said that opening field hospitals to support health care during the second peak of the coronavirus carries the risk of poaching employees from already overburdened hospitals.
At a Royal Society of Medicine webinar on Thursday, Dr. However, Gary Masterson, an advisor to the Royal Liverpool Hospital, added that Nightingale hospitals were a good idea in principle, “I think maybe the thinking was done before we understood this disease process. & # 39;
He said they are likely to be of little value as it is already difficult to determine the number of multidisciplinary staff needed for regular hospitals.
"It got the impression that if you stick a ventilator to a bed, you get a place in the intensive care unit – that's just not true," said Dr. Masterson.
“Once you've ventilated a patient, these patients are often very, very sick and require advanced therapy.
“We have trouble filling our normal NHS hospitals with self-isolation, illness and so on. How are we going to occupy the Nightingale hospitals? I really don't understand. & # 39;
Many hospitals across the country have reported that pressure on the intensive care unit will increase as the second wave of the pandemic intensifies.
Last Friday, a leaked report found that trusts in Manchester could exceed their critical care capacity in a matter of days.
Using the newly opened NHS Nightingale North West was one of the focal points of their strategy to address the problem, according to the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.
Dr. Peter Shirley, an advisor at the Royal London Hospital, said it was difficult to get patients moving through treatment at a Nightingale Hospital.
Two unused floors up in the Royal London Hospital have been converted into a Nightingale Hospital.
Dr. Shirley said, "The Royal London Hospital now has tremendous critical care capacity. What has not been identified is the safe staffing."
He added that it was "logistically practically impossible" to have hundreds of patients out in the field without being able to discharge them to the ward.
"While the concept seems pretty good on paper as a kind of rescue therapy, the whole package is very difficult to understand," he said.
“Right now we're trying to narrow this area down to individual pods with 15 patients, and we're saying you need this to manage each pod.
"At some point in the building we no longer have a multidisciplinary team to operate the pods so that the other pods remain empty."
The government was looking for additional capacity at the start of the pandemic when images of Italy and Spain's overwhelmed hospitals surfaced.
Ultimately, the NHS largely managed to keep patient numbers under control, and many Nightingale hospitals were mothballed due to a lack of demand.
It is feared that they may be needed in the second wave as hospitals cope with seasonal illnesses like flu and do their best to provide normal levels of routine and outpatient services.
This week it emerged that some of the centers are earmarked for use in the NHS 'plans for a rapid vaccination program once one is approved.
“Gloomsters always win because they can't go wrong with a suspension. If you're like me and predict an optimistic outcome that won't come true, then you will get fired.
“It is puzzling that if the prediction is that we will be overwhelmed, a lockdown is warranted. But it can't be true, we're already November and it's not even close yet. & # 39;
Professor Heneghan added, “If you look at areas like Liverpool, the tiered restrictions have resulted in a reduction in cases across all age groups. The people of Liverpool understood the problems and changed their behavior.
"So I would reward the people in Liverpool with an approach that says there is some light here at the end of the tunnel, not a lock."
SAGE – the government's emergency scientific advisory group – warned the government that the NHS was on track to be completely overwhelmed by the end of this month. The dire forecast was made using mathematical models that were one month out of date and had high low confidence intervals.
The prediction has since been questioned by top scientists and doctors, who said the modeling failed to foresee how effective the three-tier locking system would be.
Professor Heneghan said, “The modeling was completely inaccurate. But once such a dire scenario is presented to the Prime Minister, it becomes impossible to cope with any situation other than the lockdown.
“It's impossible to make decisions when you have models that are a month out of date. We get words of "assumptions, scenarios, projections" – but scientists can't predict more than six weeks.
The NHS was put back on high alert last night in anticipation of a wave of hospital admissions for the coronavirus in the coming weeks.
Sir Simon Stevens, executive director of NHS England, claimed the move to level four was a response to the "grave situation".
Moving to level four means health bosses believe there is a real danger that an expected influx of Covid-19 patients could force shutdowns of other vital services across the country.
However, documents leaked Wednesday showed that the intensive care units for most trusts were no longer than normal at this time of year. They said the NHS is on the verge of congestion if they pour extra cold water.
Eighteen percent of intensive care beds are available in healthcare nationwide, which is normal for fall. Data from NHS Secondary Uses Services, viewed by The Telegraph, shows that even in the hardest-hit region, the Northwest, seven percent of critical care beds are still vacant.
The numbers show that there is still 15 percent “spare capacity” across the country – pretty normal for this time of year. That's even without the thousands of nightingale hospital beds that provide extra capacity when needed.
Even in the northwest, the most severely affected region of the “second wave”, only 92.9 percent of the intensive care beds are currently occupied. And at the height of the Covid outbreak in April, the intensive care beds were never more than 80 percent full, according to the data.
There were around 5,900 intensive care beds in the NHS in January 2020, according to the King's Fund. It is not clear how many Covid patients are in intensive care units as this data is not available. However, the number of patients on a ventilator – 952 on November 3rd – gives an approximate idea. However, not all patients with ventilators are classified as in intensive care.
According to official data, there are currently almost 10,300 patients with Covid-19 in general and acute wards in NHS hospitals in England. This means that Covid-19 patients make up around 10 percent of all available beds.
However, there are still more than 13,000 beds in general wards when you consider that there are nearly 114,000 NHS beds in total in England. Professor Sikora estimates that after the Nightingale hospitals and the additional private sector capacity the NHS bought, there will be a total of about 140,000 beds if marginalized.
MailOnline revealed at the height of the first wave in April that Covid-19 patients never accounted for more than 30 percent of the total occupied beds. Almost 19,000 out of 70,000 patients in hospitals had Covid-19 at the time.
Professor Heneghan commented on the data to MailOnline: “This is fully in line with what is normally available at this time of the year. What I don't understand is that I seem to be looking at a different set of data than what the government is presenting.
“Everything looks normal and the free bed capacity is still significant, even in units with high dependency and in the intensive care unit, although we only have a very small number across the board. We're seeing a decrease in the number of people in hospitals.
"Tier three restrictions work phenomenally well, and instead of locking them in, I would use this moment to increase capacity."
However, Chris Hopson, executive director of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, said it was "pointless" to use national bed occupancy rates to argue that a lockdown is not required.
He tweeted: “A lot of hospital bosses in the north tell us that they are under extreme pressure. Many of them say their Covid-19 patient numbers are above what they saw in the peak of the first phase.
& # 39; The argument made by NHS CEOs in the rest of the country is that many are already experiencing worrying general bed occupancy. And if the Covid pattern repeats itself elsewhere in the north a month later in the north, it will coincide with winter, when the NHS is most stretched.
“This means that trusts are unable to provide the treatment and quality of care they need to everyone who needs them. None of this is reflected in or influenced by current national intensive care bed occupancy rates. They are irrelevant to this risk. & # 39;
Moment whistleblower NHS staff member publicly resigns, claiming she has "been out of work for three weeks" at the height of the pandemic, claiming her hospital now counts flu and Covid cases as "the same"
A whistleblower NHS staff member who publicly resigned after claiming she had no work for three weeks at the height of the pandemic said the claim that the NHS was overrun was "all a lie".
A viral Facebook video shows Shelley Tasker, 43, a health assistant at Treliske Hospital, part of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, telling members of the public what is "really going on" behind closed doors in NHS hospitals .
In the clip filmed outside Truro Cathedral with a crowd, Shelley, a mother and part-time photographer from Camborne, Cornwall, takes a microphone and says, “As much as I've loved our NHS, it's no longer our NHS. It is run by the corrupt government and the people who run this company.
“We don't have any health care anymore, we can't see dentists. I can tell you now that when I was working at the height of the pandemic, I was out of work for three weeks because there were no patients. We have a certain church in Covid. None of the wards was overcrowded with Covid patients and they are not now. & # 39;
She went on to claim that the flu and Covid cases are now recorded as "the same" on death certificates.
In response to the cheering of the crowd, she continues: “I can tell you that on Friday in Treliske three people were at Covid. No additional deaths, three – and that goes for Treliske, West Cornwall and Hayle Hospital.
“The total number of deaths at these three hospitals in seven months is 76 people – that's about ten people a month for the past seven months, and we have been on lockdown.
NHS figures show 67 people died of Covid-19 at Treliske Hospital between March and September.
Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL about the numbers the government is showing to the public, Shelley claimed, “They are all lies. We closed all of Cornwall to three people in hospital.
“They haven't even died – they supposedly have COVID. How many people will die from it? There's a huge agenda going on here and people need to start realizing. & # 39;
When Shelley discussed her decision to raise the issue publicly, she said, “It took a long time. I was silent and people had to see these numbers.
“I think a lot of people are questioning things now. That has to be good because the world can't go on as it is. & # 39;
She went on to say that she would "absolutely" disregard them Rules of the second blocking.
& # 39;I will do whatever I want to do. If I want to see my friends … To be honest, we won't go to pubs or anything, nothing will change for me, ”she said. “I don't have big meetings and the like.
“There will be protests and we have to keep protesting. I'm going to walk my dog and go to the beach and things like that. I don't think there is any restriction on movement and such. I haven't thought about it too much to be honest. & # 39;
“There is no way it will happen to me, and it won't happen to many people. People don't have time to report when there are seven people in the house – the police won't come out for that.
“There is nothing that really needs to change for me. I just advise everyone to carry on as normally as they can do nothing. & # 39;
Ms. Tasker claimed last Friday there were only three patients at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, formerly and now commonly known as Treliske Hospital.
And official data seem to back up their point: On October 29, only four people were treated with the virus at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.
By comparison, the Trust – which also includes West Cornwall Hospital and St. Michael & # 39; s Hospital – was treating 32 Covid-19 patients at the same time at the height of the pandemic. But even then, it was far from being overrun by the infected.
However, Cornwall has yet to be hit by the second wave of the pandemic, this time with the northern areas and the Midlands bearing the brunt.
The fact that hospitals have filled hotspots has been used to justify the second national lockdown. Dismal health bosses warned the NHS could run out of beds nationally in weeks.
But many parts of the NHS, especially in the south, are still empty because so many people are still reluctant to use its services for fear of getting Covid-19 or a burden on healthcare.
However, some fear that this could change immediately if infections continue to rise, given that hospitals in the south have much less capacity.
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