When announcing the national lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the NHS risked being overwhelmed if the measures weren’t taken.
But statistics suggest that the proportion of beds currently occupied by patients is actually lower than usual.
So how can both things be true?
…To create that wiggle room, there has been a big decrease in patients coming in for non-urgent operations and outpatient appointments, to ensure that space is there and pressures are not increased.
Even in September 2020, when hospitals were beginning to increase the number of operations carried out, these were still 25% lower than in previous years.
This also helps explain why there are also fewer patients in hospitals this year, as well as fewer beds.
The impact of this is a large backlog and the potential for certain treatments – such as cancer care – being delayed.
HOSPITALS had almost fifteen percent fewer patients this December compared with 2019, despite the Covid crisis.
But they are being ovewhelmed by the surge in infections because of a lack of beds and staff, experts said.A freedom of information request to NHS England revealed that on December 22, three days after Boris Johnson introduced tier four for millions, more than 13,000 fewer beds were occupied than the same date in 2019.
The new data suggests a key reason hospitals are struggling is this lack of capacity.
Nightingale hospitals built during the first Covid-19 lockdown still remain ‘on standby’ despite parts of England being plunged under draconian Tier 4 measures.
It has been suggested the hospitals are largely deserted, despite Boris Johnson’s dramatic decision to plunge a third of those in England under tough Tier 4 measures from Sunday.
There are approximately 30,000 student-nurse places in the UK each year, which, given nursing is a three-year course, means there are about 90,000 student nurses in total (notwithstanding dropouts). Moreover, there are 84 university nursing departments throughout the UK, each with a body of nursing professors, senior lecturers and lecturers, many of whom will be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (although they are not required to work clinically to maintain registration). In this emergency pandemic, it would seem quite rational for these students and teaching staff to be deployed by government to staff the Nightingale Hospitals.
- Intensive care ward occupancy down to 75% from 84% this time last year
- Hospitals across country declaring incidents as they struggle to cope
- But wards are less busy too – 89% full compared to 95% in December 2019
- NHS warns of invisible pressures unique to Covid, such as ward segregation
NHS data still shows hospitals to be quieter than they were this time last year even as coronavirus’s second wave bites and the number of Covid patients approaches levels seen in the crisis’s peak in April.
When children and teens are overwhelmed with anxiety, depression or thoughts of self-harm, they often wait days in emergency rooms because there aren’t enough psychiatric beds.
The problem has only grown worse during the pandemic, reports from parents and professionals suggest.
With schools closed, routines disrupted and parents anxious over lost income or uncertain futures, children are shouldering new burdens many are unequipped to bear.
A quick glance at the latest data on hospital beds shows there were nearly 13,000 beds free at the end of November.
That’s 50% more than last winter.
- Two-thirds of the private sector capacity that was block-purchased by NHS England was left unused over the summer
- Unprecedented block contracts in place for almost all the private hospital capacity, thought to be worth around £400m per month
- Comes as waiting times for elective care and diagnostic tests have steeply increased
- Capacity to carry out chemotherapy treatment was among that not fully used
- Insiders blame confusion and communication over contracts, and some argue the contracts were not needed
YouTube has removed interview so we have archived the video in the above location. It is currently available on Unlocked Facebook page:
- Despite the fearmongering, the number of Covid-19 deaths is significantly lower than the peak back in April
- Latest ONS estimate shows that in the week ending November 14, new infections were already levelling off
- GCHQ has embedded a team in Downing Street to provide Boris Johnson with real-time updates of Covid-19
- Analysts will sift through vast amounts of data to ensure Boris Johnson has the most up-to-date information
The Imperial model had larger errors, about 5-fold higher than other models by six weeks. This appears to be largely driven by the aforementioned tendency to overestimate mortality. At twelve weeks, MAPE values were lowest for the IHME-MS-SEIR (23.7%) model, while the Imperial model had the most elevated MAPE (98.8%). Predictive performance between models was generally similar for median absolute errors (MAEs)
- The vaccine reduces symptoms; may prevent infection but this has not been proven.
- Mass testing is not the way out and could be very problematic.
- Around 1% of the population are infected and probably have no symptoms.
- If you are under 65, there is less risk than the regular flu.
- The number of people dying is the same as any other year.
- People of dying of respiratory diseases is about the same.
- Covid deaths will continue to go up.
- Hospitals are less full because they’ve increased their capacity; they’re not struggling to cope.
- Prevalence for the virus has plateaued.
- We should continue to be careful but COVID-19 is ‘not a major player’
THE fact that Covid cases were already plummeting across London is yet more evidence the new lockdown is a mistake.
Yes, a few hospitals around Britain are under huge strain, as NHS chief Simon Stevens says.
But many have few Covid patients or none.
* Beds have never been less than 85% full for a three-month period since 2010
* Spring this year was the first time, because patients were turfed out for Covid-19
* And occupancy remains below average levels despite second wave, stat shows
* Boris Johnson has returned to his ‘protect the NHS’ slogan for second lockdown
NHS hospitals in England appear quieter than usual for this time of year even though they are treating more than 9,000 patients with coronavirus.
Update seen by Telegraph shows capacity tracking as normal for beginning of November, with usual numbers of beds available
Hospital intensive care is no busier than normal for the majority of trusts, leaked documents have shown, raising more questions about whether a second national lockdown is justifiable.
- We have experience of SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012, while in the UK there are at least four known strains of coronavirus which cause the common cold.
- Many individuals who’ve been infected by other coronaviruses have immunity to closely related ones such as the Covid-19 virus.
- Multiple research groups in Europe and the US have shown that around 30 per cent of the population was likely already immune to Covid-19 before the virus arrived – something which Sage continues to ignore.
- Prof. John Ioannidis, professor of epidemiology at Stanford University in California, have concluded that the mortality rate is closer to 0.2 per cent – 1 in 500 infected die.
- Around 45,000 Covid deaths in the UK
- Approximately 22.5million people have been infected – 33.5 per cent of our population – not Sage’s 7 per cent calculation.
- Not every infected individual produces antibodies.
- The human immune system has several lines of defence:
- Innate immunity which is comprised of the body’s physical barriers to infection and protective secretions (the skin and its oils, the cough reflex, tears etc);
- Inflammatory response (to localise and minimise infection and injury), and the production of non-specific cells (phagocytes) that target an invading virus/bacterium.
- Antibodies that protect against a specific virus or bacterium (and confer immunity) and T-cells (a type of white blood cell) that are also specific.
- T-cells that are crucial in our body’s response to respiratory viruses such as Covid-19.
- World Health Organisation says 750million people have been infected by the virus as of October and almost none have been reinfected.
- Mortality in 2020 so far ranks eighth out of the last 27 years.
- The death rate at present is also normal for the time of year – the number of respiratory deaths is actually low for late October.
- Not only is the virus less dangerous than we are being led to believe, with almost three quarters of the population at no risk of infection.
- I am convinced this so-called second wave of rising infections and, sadly, deaths will fizzle out without overwhelming the NHS.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has gone back to Plan A, reviving his ‘protect the NHS’ message from March and now wears a facemask with those words on it. The Prime Minister is repeating the slogan. It’s deeply controversial with senior doctors who fear that it discourages the sick from seeking help – which might explain the 28,000 excess at-home deaths over the last few months. The NHS is worried about this and has countered with its own advert, urging people to seek medical help. I looked at this in my latest Daily Telegraph column.
The NHS has learned much from the first wave of Covid. PPE equipment, for example, is now in bountiful supply. Basic medical techniques – better use of blood thinners, oxygen therapy, steroids etc – are having a big impact on survival rates. When Boris Johnson went into intensive care, his survival chances were about 50 per cent. Now, they would be closer to 70 per cent. The trajectory this time is nowhere near as daunting – the below graph shows the rise of Covid patients needing critical care. As the data shows, intensive care unit (ICU) usage is 13 per cent of what it was at the end of March. (These figures are from the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre.)
The NHS has ‘significantly less’ beds now than last winter and parts of the system ‘don’t have enough’, a NHS England and Improvement director has admitted.
Even in Manchester, hospitals are faring far better than the headline statistics suggest