UK News Coronavirus: London critical care units to turn away patients 'within days'
Stop social contact, PM Johnson says, as coronavirus spreads faster
Stop social contact, PM Johnson says, as coronavirus spreads fasterLONDON (Reuters) - British people need to stop non-essential social contact and avoid clubs, pubs, theatres and all unnecessary travel as the coronavirus outbreak accelerates towards the fast growth phase, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.
Several hospitals in London"within a few days" due to their critical care units being full, a senior NHS official has warned.
Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers which represents hospital trusts, said: "London trust CEOs are incredibly proud of how much has been done, how quickly, to clear space and create capacity but they're concerned about how quickly this extra capacity is now filling up. Preparation and planning has been incredibly helpful but size of demand surge is off the scale.
"It's evident a number of hospitals in London are on a trajectory where their critical care capacity will become full within a few days."
Do Boris Johnson’s new coronavirus measures mean he originally got it wrong?
Prime minister says that everyone should now avoid unnecessary social contact , to work from home where possible and to stay away from pubs, clubs and restaurants. People in at-risk groups will also be asked within days to stay at home for 12 weeks, while households of more than one person are being told to stay isolated for 14 days if any of them displays symptoms. The prime minister said the advice to av was “particularly important for people over 70, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions”.
so staff know who to prioritise. The first three “rapid guidelines” consider patients in critical care, those having kidney dialysis and people being treated for cancer in England and Wales. They are the fastest guidelines Nice has ever produced.
Doctors and nurses have spoken out about their fear of being able to cope with the inevitable influx of coronavirus patients (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)
All patients admitted to hospital should still be assessed as usual for frailty “irrespective of Covid-19 status”, the guidelines state. For those who test positive, doctors should decide whether they are admitted to critical care on the medical benefit, taking into account the likelihood of the person’s recovery.
Drive-through centres to test North Wales NHS workers for coronavirus
Three units have been set up, which will provide priority testing for identified NHS workers involved in the response to Covid-19 , said health chiefs. They are are located at Ysbyty Alltwen in Tremadog; Bryn y Neuadd Hospital in Llanfairfechan; and on the grounds of Wrexham Maelor Hospital. The units in Llanfairfechan and Tremadog will begin testing on Friday, March 20, with the Wrexham unit beginning testing on Monday, March 23. They have been established following advice from Public Health Wales and the Welsh Government.
Mr Hopson said the new advice on what should be done in the face of this demand had been "helpful" but said in some places the pressure is already so great that these have to be a broad “sense of direction as opposed to minutely observed reality".
He said “ordinary” A&E emergency attendances have dropped significantly compared to the normal levels of demand the trusts would expect at this time of year.
"This is a help but only a very small one given the overall context... Every member of the public can play our part too: STAY AT HOME and follow the guidance. Can’t stress how important this is."
Trust chiefs also praised London Ambulance Service for managing demand and being able to use "real time information" on how full hospitals are and therefore deciding which ones can take emergency patients.
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Earlier this week the president of the Intensive Care Society warned that the rate of increase in coronavirus patients who will need critical care is at the "alarming end of the spectrum". Ganesh Suntharalingam said the society may need to have a "broad discussion" on which patients should receive such care, but that the UK is not at that stage yet.
On Thursday Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, part of the London North West University Healthcare Trust (LNWUHT), declared a critical incident after its intensive care unit was overwhelmed with coronavirus patients and could not take any more. Twenty-one of the 87 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the UK on Tuesday were at LNWUHT.
Meanwhile, the UK lockdown means the NHS should be able to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, an expert has said. Professor Neil Ferguson, who is recovering from Covid-19 himself, told the Science and Technology Committee measures taken by the Government could tip the outbreak from a growing epidemic to a declining epidemic.
A series of measures have been announced to help the NHS cope with the coronavirus outbreak (Photo: Getty)
London Congestion Charge and ULEZ SUSPENDED during coronavirus outbreak
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has suspended the Congestion Charge during the coronavirus outbreak to help health workers avoid public transport and get to workFrom Monday 23 March, all road user charging schemes are suspended, says Transport for London (TfL).
The director of MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London, also explained there was some uncertainty, but that if current measures work as expected, then intensive care demand would "peak in approximately two to three weeks and then decline thereafter".
Professor Ferguson told the committee current predictions were that the NHS would be able to cope if strict measures continued to be followed.
He said: "There will be some areas that are extremely stressed but we are reasonably confident - which is all we can be at the current time - that at the national level we will be within capacity."
Drinking from a Keep Calm and Carry On mug, he said: "There will be some resurgence of transmission but the hope is that by employing more focused policies to suppress those local outbreaks, we can maintain infection levels at low levels in the country as a whole indefinitely. It remains to be seen how we achieve this and how practical it proves to be."
What Italian medics did
If UK has to endure the same situation facing medics in Italy they are likely to prioritise patients with a greater likelihood of survival and then those who have more potential years of life.
Those are the guidelines already issued to Italian doctors by the Italian College of Anaesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care.
The document begins by likening the moral choices Italian doctors face to the forms of wartime triage that are required in the field of “catastrophe medicine.”
The College warned that maintaining the criterion of “first come, first served” would “amount to a decision to exclude late-arriving patients from access to intensive care”.
Coronavirus: Warning that Welsh region Gwent is following the same pattern as Italy .
Gwent has recorded half the confirmed coronavirus cases in WalesAfter recording almost half the cases in Wales, health chiefs in the area have warned hospitals could struggle to cope with a continued increase in infections.