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Coronavirus: We can cope with peak, hospital bosses say

Hospitals should be able to cope with an expected peak in coronavirus cases, according to NHS bosses..

By admin , in Health , at April 15, 2020

Hospitals should be able to cope with an expected peak in coronavirus cases, according to NHS bosses.

NHS Providers, which represents hospitals and other NHS trusts in England, said there were enough beds in hospitals for patients.

The hard work to increase intensive-care capacity and free up space on general wards had paid off.

But coping with significant numbers of coronavirus patients in the long-term remained a concern.

Chief executive Chris Hopson said it looked "increasingly likely" the NHS would successfully navigate the peak.

But he added: "We cannot relax. We must remain vigilant."

And the British Medical Association said while there was still capacity available, many individual hospitals were struggling as the pressure was not spread evenly.

It also warned the workforce had had to be "diluted", with staff who were not fully trained being asked to step into critical areas, such as intensive care.

"We absolutely cannot afford to be complacent," the BMA added.

How busy are hospitals?

On Tuesday, NHS England medical director Prof Stephen Powis said hospital cases appeared to be "plateauing".

There are about 19,000 patients being treated for coronavirus in UK hospitals.

But more than 30,000 beds had been freed in advance by cancelling non-emergency treatment and quickly discharging patients, allowing hospitals to cope.

The number of intensive-care beds have been doubled to nearly 10,000.

And more than 2,000 of them are still available.

On top of this, the NHS has paid for space in private-sector hospitals, including 8,000 beds, while a series of field hospitals are being planned.

And there are now doubts about whether all these will be needed.

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The biggest field hospital, NHS Nightingale in London, has already opened.

It has space for 4,000 patients but has taken only a few dozen so far.

Meanwhile, the facility in Birmingham has yet to take in any patients, while the site planned in north-east England may not now be needed.

Martin Wilson, the chief operating officer for Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is overseeing the Washington project, said: "I don't think we will need to open.

"If we do, we will be ready."

How has the NHS has done it?

The briefing produRead More – Source

bbc