Contrary to the claims made by Dr Rachel Clarke and Professor Stephen Powis last month and used to blame the unvaccinated for the mounting troubles of the NHS, new data out this week shows that the majority of Covid ICU admissions in October and November were among the vaccinated, not the unvaccinated.
The latest report from ICNARC shows that of Covid ICU patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 50.5% in October and 50.7% in November were double vaccinated. Add to that the 2.8% in October and 1.8% in November who were single-vaccinated and you get overall vaccinated proportions of 53.3% in October and 52.5% in November. That compares to 46.7% unvaccinated in October and 47.5% in November. Note that the unvaccinated here includes people who received a vaccine less than 14 days prior to the positive Covid test, so includes some (an unknown number) who are actually single vaccinated.
Plan B is a go. And just like that, more mask mandates, working from home guidance and, most controversially, vaccine passports have been rushed in. While we wait, of one thing we can be certain: Covid decisions this winter are once again being determined by one institution. While we wait to find out more about the omicron variant, there is one thing we can say with certainty: our future rests once again on the ability of the National Health Service to handle an uptick in cases.
…Yet the NHS has a guilty little secret, rarely talked about given its status as the national religion. On many metrics, capacity has not been rising – it’s actually been falling.
The head of the NHS today said the health service was never overwhelmed by Covid during the height of the pandemic.
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, told MPs expanding critical care, introducing new treatments and rolling out the vaccine prevented wards from being overrun over the last year-and-a-half.
Private hospitals treated a total of just eight Covid patients a day during the pandemic despite a multi-billion pound deal with the government to help stop the NHS being overwhelmed, a report reveals.
And they also performed far fewer operations on NHS-funded patients than usual, even though hospitals has suspended much non-Covid care, according to research by a thinktank.
The Treasury agreed in March 2020 to pay for a deal to block-book the entire capacity of all 7,956 beds in England’s 187 private hospitals along with their almost 20,000 staff to help supplement the NHS’s efforts to cope with the unfolding pandemic. It is believed to have cost £400m a month.
However, the Centre for Health and the Public Interest’s report (Pdf) says that on 39% of days between March 2020 and March this year, private hospitals treated no Covid patients at all and on a further 20% of days they cared for only one person. Overall, they provided only 3,000 of the 3.6m Covid bed days in those 13 months – just 0.08% of the total.
While focus remains firmly fixed on Covid-19, a second health crisis is quietly emerging in Britain. Since the beginning of July, there have been thousands of excess deaths which were not caused by coronavirus.
According to health experts, this is highly unusual for the summer. Although excess deaths are expected during the winter months, when cold weather and seasonal infections combine to place pressure on the NHS, summer generally sees a lull.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) since July 2, there have been 9,619 excess deaths in England and Wales, of which 48 per cent (4,635) were not caused by Covid-19.
GPs will get a £12.58 service fee and £10 financial supplement for each eligible 12-15 year old vaccinated.
Hospitals have been told to change the way they collect data on patients infected with coronavirus to differentiate between those actually sick with symptoms and those who test positive while seeking treatment for something else.
The move would reduce the overall number of patients in hospital for coronavirus as until now data from hospitals has included all patients who tested positive for Covid-19, regardless of whether they had symptoms or not.
The main purpose of science is to question and attack. To subject ideas to the greatest scrutiny. Those who decide to shut down and stifle debate – whatever they may believe themselves to be doing – are, in fact, traitors to the cause of science. Stranglers of the enlightenment, assassins of progress.
They are not alone, and things have gotten far worse in the past year or so. Science has taken a terrible battering during Covid-19, though I have always known that dissent against a widely held scientific hypothesis is difficult.
GPs have been told to refuse patients face-to-face appointments, in order to force the use of virtual consultations, under new NHS guidance.
…The updated NHS guidance now instructs practices to make this the default permanently.
…It continues: “Discourage patients from attending the practice to book appointments. If they do attend in person, demonstrate the process using a smartphone or kiosk”
Back in November, Nick Stokes emailed the Planet Normal podcast to protest that the NHS was being turned into the “National Covid Service”, and misinformation was being spread about hospitals being overwhelmed. “If there is a shortage of beds, that happens every single year – it is not due to Covid! I can remember several years of black alerts, ambulances unable to unload etc due to flu cases, but I don’t remember everything else being cancelled or people being told to stay at home.”
- Figures show 36 people on average died each day from covid in the last week
- By comparison, cancer is claiming 450 live every day or about 166,000 annually
- Experts say NHS needs to urgently expand cancer services to deal with backlog
- NHS England say most cancer services are operating at pre-pandemic levels
- Only three of England’s seven Nightingale hospitals have ever been used to treat Covid patients.
- Cost to the taxpayer is more than £500m to set-up and keep on standby.
- Four of the Nightingales have never treated people with Covid-19.
- Only two of the hospitals have been used to treat Covid patients in during the second wave.
- Nightingales totalled up to £1.27m per inpatient as of January 2021.
- Only 272 inpatients were treated at the Nightingales up until January 2021.
- Nightingale Birmingham, which was the most expensive to set-up at a contracted budget of £109million – has never been used at all.
- Each Nightingale building cost between £409,000 and £1.2m a month to keep on standby.
- The bill to set up the hospitals was £346m, according to contracts awarded by the government to NHS trusts.
- NHS England has forecast total costs will run to £532m for the financial years 2019-21.
- At least £850,000 was also spent with consultancy firms on the construction of the Nightingales.
Hospitals have spent £2 million on more than 50 gagging orders preventing staff speaking out, a Freedom of Information Act request has revealed.
Tory MP Steve Barclay, who obtained the figures, accused NHS chief Sir David Nicholson of either failing to ask questions about the orders or being “complicit in a cover-up”.
Sir David will retire as NHS England’s chief executive next year but Mr Barclay said he should stand down now because the culture in the health service had to change.
It was reported last night that at least 52 staff have been silenced using the orders since 2008, some of which cost as much as £500,000. All are thought to contain confidentiality clauses.
…North East Cambridgeshire MP Mr Barclay told The Daily Telegraph: “It is simply not plausible that the man who was supposed to be running the NHS was seemingly unaware that employees threatening to speak out were being offered golden goodbyes in return for a vow of silence.”
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.
Almost three times as many under 60s died in road crashes last year as those without health conditions killed by coronavirus, NHS data shows.
Just 388 people under the age of 60 with no underlying health conditions have died of coronavirus in England, NHS data has revealed.
ONLY 388 people aged under 60 without underlying health conditions have died of coronavirus in hospitals across England, NHS data shows.
The figure is just 0.8 per cent of all Covid fatalities recorded in English hospitals between April 2 and December 23.
- 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
- 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
Practices will be paid £12.58 (€14.15; $16.69) per vaccination. This is 25% more than the current £10.06 practices receive for an influenza vaccination, in recognition of the need for extra training, post-vaccine observation, and other associated costs. Practices will need to provide most of the required staff from their own workforce.