Hospitals in Leeds and Edinburgh have had to cancel non-urgent surgeries to make room for coronavirus patients. This was announced today.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals – one of the largest NHS trusts in England – said there are now more Covid-19 patients on its wards than at the height of the first wave of the crisis.
The trust, which operates five hospitals in the city, will cancel routine surgeries starting tomorrow to reuse beds for infected patients.
In most cases, only essential surgeries are performed, with the proposed procedures at the Trust's Chapel Allerton Hospital being completely suspended.
Covid-19 hospital admissions in Leeds have risen by over 70 percent in the past week, with the number of elderly people with breathing problems increasing. The infection rate in people over 60 has also increased by more than two-thirds in the past seven days.
Confidants say a wave of elderly people with breathing problems were admitted to the hospitals over the weekend who they fear may turn
Meanwhile, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh has also had to postpone routine care to follow in the footsteps of other hard-hit hospitals in Bradford, Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham and several other parts of the UK.
Hospital chiefs said 37 different types of elective treatments had been postponed at the time to aid "capacity management" – but did not explain what the procedures were like or whether cancer patients would be affected by the drastic decision.
The situation is starting to adjust to that of spring, when thousands of non-urgent NHS treatments were canceled to make way for a predicted wave of Covid-19 patients.
However, healthcare has never been overwhelmed and is now dealing with a 2 million backlog of patients whose treatment has been delayed.
The President of the Royal College of Surgeons in England today warned that cancellations "will only happen more" if the second wave of Covid-19 continues to grow.
The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (pictured) is the latest in a series of hospitals across the UK to stop providing Covid-free care
According to the Health Service Journal, the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust – the fourth largest in England by total number of beds – has started shutting down its theaters to make room for more intensive care units. Health bosses reckon this will take at least a week.
A leaked internal document shows the confidence had 263 Covid-19 patients today, up from 148 compared to last Tuesday (77 percent). There are 25 infected people in the intensive care unit.
In the statement, Leeds Teaching Hospitals' Deputy Chief Medical Officer David Berridge said, “These numbers are close to the highs of the first rise and prevalence data, which suggest they may rise for another week or two.
& # 39; Our current total bed occupancy is much higher than in the first wave, so there is very significant pressure on our inpatient capacity.
Professor Neil Mortensen, president of the Royal College of Surgeons in England, said cancellations "will only happen more" as the "second wave" of coronavirus grows
"Unfortunately we had to stop some surgeries and expect it to stay that way for the whole week as there is pressure on beds in all areas of our hospitals."
A spokeswoman for the trust said: “Not only is the number of cases increasing, but the rate is increasing too. Local models based on prevalence data suggest that they could continue to increase over the next two weeks
& # 39; The majority of the weekend shots were elderly with respiratory problems. The infection rate for those over 59 has increased from 165 per 100,000 last Saturday to 269 per 100,000. Our current total occupancy of the beds is much higher than in the first wave, so that our stationary capacity is under great pressure.
& # 39; We are suspending some scheduled surgeries due to current pressures which means some patients will have to postpone their treatment. In most cases, only essential operations are performed. We have completely phased out elective inpatient orthopedics at Chapel Allerton and launched an ongoing program of theater closings to increase critical care capacity.
& # 39; We expect this to stay that way throughout the week, which means some tough decisions as we prioritize cases with higher urgency. We prioritize urgent treatments, including cancer surgery. & # 39;
HOSPITALS THAT HAVE NON URGENT CARE
UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS PLYMOUTH
The non-critical planned operation was temporarily suspended from October 13 at Derriford Hospital.
BELFAST HEALTH CONFIDENCE
The Northern Ireland Trust canceled all voting procedures in the week of October 12-16 to deal with an increase in Covid-19 patients.
BRADFORD EDUCATIONAL HOSPITALS
Some non-urgent surgeries and face-to-face outpatient appointments have been suspended for two weeks in Bradford beginning October 27.
MID YORKSHIRE HOSPITALS TRUST
Three operating rooms at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield have been closed to allow staff to care for critically ill coronavirus patients. This was announced on October 27th.
LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY EDUCATIONAL HOSPITALS
The Health Service Journal reported Oct. 12 that a memo to employees stated that the Trust is "taking a phased approach to downsizing our election program while working with other vendors to explore options to keep some of this work going in alternative locations." .
UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS BIRMINGHAM
Patients said the BBC surgeries, which were scheduled for September, have been scrapped.
E-mails leaked on October 19, seen by The Independent, urged surgeons to stop routine surgeries for some patients.
NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS TRUST
According to a leaked memo from the Health Service Journal, some operations on the wards were suspended after the Covid-19 outbreak.
SWANSEA BAY HEALTH OFFICER
All routine heart surgeries were canceled in the second week of October following a Covid-19 outbreak at Morriston Hospital. Ten patients and five employees tested positive in the hospital.
HULL UNIVERSITY EDUCATIONAL HOSPITALS
The trust wrote to patients in the second week of October that it could be two years before their surgery or their appointment.
Patients undergoing the procedures at Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary have also been contacted to say they have been temporarily stopped.
The hospital on the outskirts of the city is operated by NHS Lothian, one of the 14 regions of NHS Scotland.
It offers health services in the city itself as well as in East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian, where Covid-19 cases are higher than in the rest of the country.
NHS Lothian said the 37 cancellations consisted of 29 non-urgent elective orthopedic procedures for bone or ligament disorders and eight non-urgent cardio-thoracic procedures – surgical treatment of organs in the chest, such as B. the lungs or the heart.
The majority of people waiting for non-urgent care do not undergo surgery, but can see a specialist about their condition, get a diagnosis, or be referred to outpatient services for ongoing care.
NHS Lothian apologized for the patients' "excitement and frustration" and said alternative precautions would be taken.
Jacquie Campbell, NHS Lothian Chief Officer Emergency Services, said: & # 39; In response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the need to safely manage capacity and risk at our locations, 37 non-urgent election procedures were held at the Royal Infirmary conducted in Edinburgh have recently been postponed.
'This was needed to ensure that we could continue to care for and treat the sickest patients who must be in the hospital at this time.
“We understand how annoying and frustrating this can be to patients, and we apologize to those who may be affected.
& # 39; We would like to give our assurance that alternative dates will be offered as soon as possible.
Professor Neil Mortensen, President of the Royal College of Surgeons in England, admitted that the situation is likely to get worse as more patients are queued.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “Obviously, the neediest come first. And if you are not an emergency patient, then elective surgery – like a hip or a knee – unfortunately takes second place. & # 39;
Professor Mortensen said it was "really, really tough" right now, adding, "I think more will happen."
He stressed that someone who is "really in trouble" with a bleeding ulcer or an obstruction in the bowel, for example, will be cared for.
Professor Mortensen said it was "difficult" to call patients to tell them that their surgery would not be done due to hospital restrictions.
He said, “I think the issue is really that international comparisons have shown that our number of ITU beds, our number of doctors per capita, nurses per capita was already at the lower end of the scale.
"And you add this massive, massive crisis and it's very, very easy for it to fall over."
The Royal College of Surgeons warned earlier this month that there would be a "tsunami" of abandoned operations this winter, with the NHS struggling to cope with a second wave of coronavirus.
The cancellations will add to the growing backlog – with more than 4.2 million people on the waiting list and 110,000 of those who waited over a year.
Even before the pandemic, the NHS was struggling to meet its goal of ensuring that at least 92 percent of patients start treatment within 18 weeks. It hadn't achieved the goal for four years.
NHS chiefs have not yet issued blanket guidelines on restricting care for non-Covid patients, as they did in the spring.
However, a number of trusts and health officials have had to take action due to rising hospital admissions in their area or due to Covid-19 outbreaks on wards.
Across the UK, 1,142 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus on Oct. 20, according to data for whom the latest daily information is available.
For comparison: the number was 693 two weeks ago and 281 a month ago.
Although hospital admissions have increased, Covid-19 cases only occupy seven percent of all beds in NHS England – around 110,000 total.
At the height of the pandemic, that number was around a quarter, although capacity was freed when health bosses told hospitals to scrap as many surgeries as possible and expel patients to their wards to accommodate an influx of Covid-19 -To make patients.
Several hospitals are anticipating an increase in Covid patients, with at least seven NHS trusts – in Liverpool, Doncaster, Blackpool, Devon, Warrington, Barnsley and East Lancashire – treating more coronavirus patients on October 20 than at the height of the first wave.
This has resulted in the suspension of further surgeries, some of which may have been delayed by seven months.
The most recent include the Bradford Teaching Hospitals, which announced last week that it would suspend some non-urgent surgeries as of today, and the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, which announced Monday it had closed three operating rooms at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
Both trusts are located in West Yorkshire, which is on the verge of tier three restrictions, as city councils are now working out plans with senior ministers.
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust was one of the first to temporarily suspend a non-critical scheduled operation at Derriford Hospital in the second week of October.
That same week, Steve Warburton, executive director of the NHS Foundation Trust at Liverpool University Hospitals, told staff in a memo that it had reached a "critical point" and that planned procedures would be scaled back. No details have been released since then.
Hull University NHS Trust teaching hospitals also wrote to patients the second week of October, telling them it could be two years before they are seen. Angry patients fear they might be dead by the time of their appointment.
In response to the letter, Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation stated that MailOnline delays in hospital care are mainly due to control of coronavirus infections like social distancing and limiting the number of people in the hospital.
He added that the suspension of health care in the UK and across Europe will continue "as long as the virus remains a threat".
He said: “The need to ensure that treatment is safe for patients and staff alike will place a heavy burden on hospital capacity as long as the virus remains a threat. Unfortunately, this gap will only increase.
“The real worry right now is that winter is coming too. Winter is always a very difficult time for healthcare. & # 39;
NHS England said the service is still encouraging people to visit the hospital for any medical needs if and when they have to, fearing the British would still be too scared to visit if they contract the virus infect.
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