Hospitals in Liverpool have started reducing non-urgent treatments due to an increase in Covid-19 patients, it became known today.
Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust officials have been advised that pressure has reached a "critical point". Up to 15 percent of all beds are currently occupied by coronavirus patients.
A leaked memo by supervisors alleges that the trust, which operates four hospitals, has now made a decision to downsize its election program and that it will be a "stressful" time for patients whose treatment is postponed.
The move mirrors what happened in the spring when NHS hospitals were forced to weed out inpatients and postpone thousands of surgeries and appointments to make way for the wave of Covid patients that officials feared would come would.
Local health officials hope to send patients to "alternative locations" for planned treatment and insist that both cancer and urgent surgery be prioritized "where possible".
Officials announced today that three Nightingale makeshift hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate have been put on alert in an effort to ease pressure on the NHS.
England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam and NHS Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis today grimly warned of the threat of Covid-19, announcing that the number of Covid-19 patients in the hospital is now higher than before the imposition of the general ban in March.
In a televised briefing on Downing Street revealing the data that Boris Johnson will use to plunge millions of people into ever deeper barriers, the couple warned that levels could exceed even the peak of spring within four weeks .
Another NHS trust in the north has told thousands of patients that they will have to wait for routine surgery and may have to wait up to two years to be seen. A top expert called the move "outrageous" and said: "We urgently need to return to normal."
Hull University NHS Trust teaching hospitals have written to patients to be seen as soon as possible within the next 24 months. Angry patients fear they may be dead by the time of their appointment.
Hull University Teaching Hospitals The NHS, which operates Castle Hill Hospital and the Hull Royal Infirmary, has told thousands of patients that they may have to wait up to two years for non-urgent treatment following the coronavirus pandemic
WHAT DID THE LETTER SAY?
You are receiving this letter from the NHS Trust at Hull University Teaching Hospitals because you are waiting for a follow-up appointment with us at one of our hospitals.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected all of our services. In accordance with government guidelines, we have canceled all non-urgent operations and appointments as of Monday March 23, 2020.
However, we continued to see urgent and emergency patients and had some cancer services and treatments.
We aim to see all patients as soon as possible within the next 24 months. We continuously take the risk of evaluating each patient on our waiting lists to make sure we see patients' priorities in relation to their needs.
The decisions about which patients we see and when they are made by our doctors and nurses according to clinical guidelines to ensure your safety.
WHAT ELSE WAS IN THE LETTER?
The letter also gives advice on what patients should do if their condition worsens. It also shows patients that the Trust is working hard to minimize waiting times by reintroducing non-urgent outpatient departments and GP-requested exams.
It also shows patients that the Trust is working hard to minimize waiting times by reintroducing non-urgent ambulances and GP-requested exams.
Telephone and video consultations have been introduced, allowing patients to see their doctor through their phone, tablet or computer. However, the trust states that some appointments still need to be done face-to-face.
Patients must attend their appointment or procedure alone and wear a face covering when entering the hospital.
The Health Service Journal claims it received a memo to staff at the Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust saying that the bosses are taking a "step-by-step approach to reducing our election program".
The letter written by the Trust's executive director Steve Warburton states, “We will continue to prioritize surgery based on clinical need to keep the emergency and cancer surgery going as much as possible.
& # 39; We will continue to have access to outpatient appointments wherever possible and maintain diagnostic activities.
“We are aware that this will be stressful for patients whose elective care has to be postponed. However, we must always ensure that the care we offer is safe.
"We understand this is a very challenging time for employees and we will be releasing more information in the coming days about the enhanced support we have put in place for you."
Data presented by Professor Van-Tam and Professor Powis in the briefing on Downing Street today showed that nearly 250 of the hospital's nearly 1,300 beds are currently occupied by Covid-19 patients.
Statistics from NHS England show that rate has more than doubled since the beginning of the month when 95 coronavirus-infected patients were treated at the Trust's four hospitals.
During the quietest days of the pandemic in August, fewer than 10 hospital beds were occupied by Covid-19 patients.
The HSJ – a specialized news publication – claims that the Liverpool Trust treats the largest proportion of Covid-19 patients in the country.
Separate statistics from the Press Association news agency show that Liverpool has the third highest infection rate in England after Nottingham and Knowsley in Merseyside.
In the week ending October 8, nearly 600 new cases were reported for every 100,000 people, up from 504 in the past seven days.
It comes as medical chiefs today unleashed a dire warning of the resurgent coronavirus threat as Boris Johnson prepares to plunge millions of people into an even deeper block.
Hours before the Prime Minister is due to introduce a new curb traffic light system for England, senior government advisors have been dispatched to “roll” the pitch with an accurate assessment of the danger.
It is believed that Liverpool will be represented amid the most draconian restrictions on Stage Three, including pub closings and a ban on households to mingle from 5pm on Wednesday. Restaurants can only be open until 10.30 p.m.
MEDICAL CHIEFS SOUND GRIM WARNING ABOUT COVID RESURGENCE
Medical chiefs grimly warned of the resurgent coronavirus threat today as Boris Johnson prepares to plunge millions of people into an even deeper block.
Hours before the Prime Minister is due to introduce a new curb traffic light system for England, senior government advisors have been dispatched to “roll” the pitch with an accurate assessment of the danger.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam and NHS Medical Director Stephen Powis said in a meeting on Downing Street that the number of patients in the hospital was now higher than it was before the flat-rate ban was imposed in March – and within four Weeks above the previous high. Nightingale hospitals in the worst hit areas are reopening on a large scale.
Professor Van-Tam also sent the clear message that the surge in cases was more of a "nationwide phenomenon" than just in the north, spreading from younger people to the more vulnerable older generation.
Prof. Powis said the hope that the elderly could be isolated from the rise in infections turned out to be "wishful thinking".
Mr Johnson is furious today when he finally reveals the government's lockdown on coronavirus – and ministers warn it could last until Christmas.
The prime minister defies the wrath of local leaders and Tory MPs to push the new system forward as he struggles desperately to handle the growing cases.
Mr Johnson held an emergency Cobra meeting this morning to finalize the plan after a weekend of hectic discussions with politicians and scientists. He will confirm action in a statement to the Commons this afternoon before asking questions at press conference # 10 tonight.
It is because Hull's NHS trust has also warned of delays in non-urgent treatment.
Hull University NHS teaching hospitals, which operates Castle Hill Hospital and the Hull Royal Infirmary, are located in the northeast and Yorkshire, where Covid-19 is currently prevalent.
The trust has so far recorded 217 Covid-19 deaths out of 30,471 in English hospitals, with just four in October.
The letters were sent to patients in the vast majority of fields, with the exception of oncology (cancer), obstetrics, community paediatrics, and hematology.
One woman, who was not identified and received the letter of her appointment at the breast clinic because of her breathing problems, said she was stunned to see how long the wait could be.
She said: & # 39; 24 months, I'll be dead when I get an appointment.
& # 39; I couldn't believe it. I was classified as extremely vulnerable and had to follow the advice of the hospital.
& # 39; They sent me a letter and I had to register for Priority Slots online. But I'm not vulnerable when it comes to waiting for an appointment. & # 39;
The Trust has told patients that it is "working incredibly hard" to make sure patients are seen and treated as quickly as possible.
It said, “You are receiving this letter from the NHS Trust at Hull University Teaching Hospitals because you are waiting for a follow-up appointment with us at one of our hospitals.
'We aim to see all patients as soon as possible over the next 24 months. We continuously take the risk of evaluating each patient on our waiting lists to make sure we see patients' priorities in relation to their needs. & # 39;
The letter also gives advice on what patients should do if their condition worsens and that phone and video consultations have been introduced that allow patients to see their doctor on their phone, tablet, or computer.
The letter from Chris Long, the manager of the trust, also apologizes for the delay in treatment. It says: “We would like to apologize for any delays in your appointment / procedure.
“We know this can be a worrying time for you and we are doing everything we can to make sure we see all of our patients as soon as possible.
"We hope you will understand that the coronavirus has changed the way we work."
Professor Sikora, chief physician at private cancer company Rutherford Health, told MailOnline the letter was "quite outrageous".
It is believed that only two of the nightingales, all of which cost £ 7 and £ 220 million a month to build, have actually treated Covid-19 patients, 54 in London and just over 100 in Manchester
Even at the height of the crisis in Britain, only a quarter of all hospital beds in England were occupied by virus patients
Angry daughter slams family doctors after her mother was repeatedly denied an appointment for her cough because of Covid – which later turned out to be terminal cancer
One daughter claims that general practitioners used the coronavirus as an excuse to repeatedly prevent her mother from booking an appointment – only so that her cough would turn out to be terminal cancer.
Marina Sendall's mother, Ellie Krzywy, has been told she only has six months to live after her chronic cough was finally diagnosed with lung cancer in August.
However, Ms. Sendall, 33, claims that Gloucester Health Center in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, did not want to see patients during the pandemic.
After rejecting Ms. Krzywy's request for a proper appointment, her GP prescribed antibiotics in two separate telephone consultations in June.
They believed the 62-year-old's symptoms were a sign of a chest infection.
When she was suffering from severe breathlessness and her lips turned blue, she asked for a personal visit.
Marina Sendall (left) claims that general practitioners used the coronavirus to repeatedly prevent her mother Ellie Krzywy (right) from booking an appointment – only so that her cough would turn out to be terminal cancer
General practitioners believed the symptoms (pictured) for 62-year-old Ms. Krzywy were a sign of a breast infection, and so over the phone they prescribed antibiotics
However, the grandmother of eight was reportedly told that she would need to take a Covid test before a paramedic would see her.
After testing negative for coronavirus, she was asked about her symptoms and the doctor found that the oxygen levels in her blood had decreased.
They also found that her right lung was still and referred her to an X-ray that included a 14-day waiting list and an additional seven days to wait for results.
Mother of three Mrs. Sendall, a retail administrator from Gloucester, Gloucestershire, brought her mother to Gloucester Royal A&E on August 1st.
Doctors there told Ms. Krzywy that she had small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and only six months left.
The mother of four says she was "very disappointed" that she was denied a face-to-face appointment while suffering from cancer.
She admits that she is still "in shock at having so little time".
Her daughter claims the doctors who originally refused to see her mother robbed the family of precious time together by using covid as an "excuse".
Ms. Sendall said, “I think Covid was used as an excuse not to see you, it seems so.
“Appointments were extremely difficult to come by even before the closure. They have often been released for who they are.
"I don't know if this (covid) had a big impact or if it is a 'get out of jail free' card (for general practitioners) that thinks 'now we can blame Covid for this'.
She added, “If my mother had been seen the first time she called, we would probably have gotten a different result, but by that point it had spread.
“Maybe she wouldn't have had a brilliant forecast, but we would definitely have had a lot more time with her.
"My mother was completely discharged when she finally got a personal appointment."
Reiniger Ms. Krzywy began chemotherapy, which is due to be completed by the end of this month after a biopsy and CT scan.
A spokesman for the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are very sorry to hear about this patient's experience and that the lady and daughter concerned are unhappy with the service offered.
"We have worked very closely with our primary care practitioners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that appropriate precautions and protective measures are in place to see patients face-to-face when their medical needs so require."
GP SURGERY SHOULD RETURN TO FACE-TO-FACE APPOINTMENTS
General practitioners have been advised to schedule in-person appointments because they rely too much on phone and online consultations.
Dr. Andrew Buist, Chair of BMA Scotland's GP Committee, said he was disappointed to hear about practices that refuse to see patients when needed and said they were an important part of our work.
Mr Buist, who is also a practicing general practitioner at Ardblair's medical practice in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, said: “I would be disappointed if a practice did not have personal capacity – it is important that it has it where it is appropriate and necessary is.
“There are many things you can phone fix for a patient, but there are important times when the doctor wants to see the patient.
"When someone has a breast lump, an examination is important."
Concerns have been raised that general practitioners are refusing to admit patients due to the risks associated with the coronavirus.
A patient in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, reported it was "phone or nothing" while elderly activists have raised concerns about OAPs being exchanged between receptionists only to learn that a general practitioner only attends emergencies.
General practitioners say they are dealing with the "unprecedented" demand caused by a "perfect storm" of patients who are late after seeking help during the lockdown, coupled with flu vaccination calls and inquiries related to Covid-19 against the background of staff shortages.
Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The problem with digital medicine is that you are excluding part of society.
“My uncle in Peebles doesn't have a webcam. So before we were prevented from visiting other people's homes, I had to push the envelope and install a camera because he had to see his GP.
“He had my support for this, but I agree that there will be many who don't.
“We will never go back to the model we had before and I think the public needs to get the message that this is the new reality.
"I know people might find this frustrating, but the operations are still open to business and go out of their way to see as many patients as possible."
He said, “It is likely that many people waiting on the list for surgery, or doing exams or tests, have serious illnesses. These lead to the fact that they worsen considerably in the two-year interval.
“It is almost certain that some will develop cancer, others with heart disease or other complex diseases that require much more urgent treatment. It's impossible to sort things out without prioritizing everyone.
“We need to be far more positive about healthcare.
& # 39; The current increase in registrations is only a minor slip up compared to April and will be over in early November. We urgently need to return to normal. & # 39;
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam and NHS Medical Director Stephen Powis reported in a meeting on Downing Street today that the number of patients in the hospital is now higher than it was before the flat-rate ban was imposed in March – and within could be four weeks above the previous high.
"It is clear that hospital admissions are rising fastest in the areas of the country where infection rates are highest, especially the northwest," Professor Powis said at briefing # 10 this morning.
Nightingale hospitals in some of the worst hit areas – Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate – are on alert to reopen.
It will be up to the local doctors to decide whether to use it for Covid patients or to provide additional capacity to maintain services for people without coronavirus.
Although hospital admissions in Covid-19 have risen sharply in recent weeks, they still make up a tiny fraction of the total.
Health Department data shows there are currently 3,837 Covid-19 patients in UK hospitals, 3,451 of them in England – 3.4 percent of all beds.
NHS England officials have not publicly disclosed the total number of beds they have, but they are believed to be around 110,000.
Even at the height of the crisis in Britain, only a quarter of all beds were occupied by virus patients.
As of April 7, 26.5 percent of the 67,206 people in England's hospitals were treated for coronavirus – the highest proportion ever recorded.
But the number of people being admitted to hospital for routine treatment is still astonishingly low compared to before the pandemic.
NHS data last week showed that the number of patients admitted to England was down 43 percent in August compared to the previous year.
However, this is an improvement over the decline in July (55 percent) and June (67 percent).
Tim Gardner, a senior policy fellow at the Health Foundation, said the delays were largely due to control of coronavirus infections in hospitals.
He told MailOnline: “There is absolutely nothing more important than making sure that hospitals keep social distance, that people don't hang around for hours in a crowded waiting room and find more time to disinfect equipment and clean rooms .
"This is absolutely the wrong time to have crowded waiting rooms, restrict infection control, and not clean rooms and equipment."
When asked about the transmission of the disease in the hospitality industry, Professor Van-Tam said at the Downing Street briefing today: "We know the virus lives off what we like best, human contact."
Mr Gardner said the NHS and health services across Europe had no choice but to postpone health care and this will continue as long as "the virus remains a threat".
He said: “Since the peak in mid-April since the services reopened, there has been quite a bit of progress. But that's just incredibly difficult.
& # 39; It's very worrying right now. The progress made so far is clearly at risk if the situation (of the coronavirus) worsens significantly. & # 39;
He added, “The normal approach would be to be more active than usual.
"However, by ensuring that treatment is safe for patients and staff alike, it will put a heavy strain on hospital capacity as long as the virus remains a threat." Unfortunately, this gap will only increase.
& # 39; There really is an urgent need for action to contain the virus. Because the worse it gets, the more hospitals will be forced to postpone treatment for other conditions. And that's the last thing they want to do.
“As we saw in March and April, realistically, there is no other option when the hospitals are increasingly busy.
“The real worry right now is that winter is coming too. Winter is always a very difficult time for healthcare. & # 39;
The NHS services were redesigned in March and April to release beds and control the spread of the infection. Patients have been discharged from hospitals, scheduled treatment postponed or canceled, and counseling services relocated online.
Hospitals have withdrawn tens of thousands of patients to make way for infected patients while non-urgent surgeries and cancer treatments have been canceled.
In an effort to protect the NHS this spring, private hospitals have been commanded at the cost of millions of pounds a day.
However, they complained about being left blank at the height of the outbreak. During the darkest weeks of the pandemic, up to 40,000 beds across the NHS were unused.
The NHS data released last week were a stark reminder of the impact Covid-19 has had on the treatment of other diseases.
Around 1.96 million people had waited more than 18 weeks for treatment in August – three times as many as in the same month last year.
Even before the pandemic broke out, the standard that at least 92 percent of patients should not wait more than 18 weeks for elective treatment to begin had not been met for four years, despite being a legal right under the NHS constitution.
Another 111,026 patients have been waiting more than a year for non-urgent care – the highest level since 2008 and 90 times higher than in August 2019 (1,236).
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.
Cancer charities have warned of a "ticking time bomb" of undiagnosed illnesses due to fewer family doctor referrals and screenings.
Mr. Gardner, who served as senior policy advisor in the NHS Strategy and Implementation division and spent ten years in the Department of Health, said, “Not urgent means not important. Those faced with longer waiting times may do so with pain and discomfort or anxiety awaiting diagnosis. & # 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.
NHS England Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said today he does not want to have to delay operations by diverting staff to fight the coronavirus for the second time.
"Where we can, we don't want this to happen again this time around, but that depends on us all doing what needs to be done to contain this virus in the community," he said.
And he urged, "Please use NHS services when you need them for your health needs."
A spokesman for the trust said, “If you are waiting for an appointment or an operation at our hospitals, you may have received a letter from us or you will likely receive one in the next few days.
“It's no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our ability to perform routine appointments and scheduled surgeries.
& # 39; Our waiting lists have grown longer in recent months due to all of the cancellations we had to make in the first half of the year.
„Wir wollten Ihnen schreiben, um uns dafür zu entschuldigen und Ihnen zu versichern, dass unsere Mitarbeiter unglaublich hart arbeiten, um sicherzustellen, dass Sie so schnell wie möglich gesehen und behandelt werden, und gleichzeitig die Notfall- und Notfallversorgung für diejenigen aufrechtzuerhalten, die dies benötigen. & # 39;
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