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How the elderly paid the price of protecting NHS from COVID-19

PUBLISHED

n the day Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital with COVID-19, Vivien Morrison received a phone call from a doctor at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill. Stricken by the virus, her father, Raymond Austin, had taken a decisive turn for the worse. The spritely grandfather, who still worked as a computer analyst at the age of 82, was not expected to survive the day. His oxygen levels had fallen to 70% rather than the normally healthy levels of at least 94%.

Vivien says she was told by the doctor that her father would not be given intensive care treatment or mechanical ventilation because he “ticked too many boxes” under the guidelines the hospital was using.

While ministers delayed lockdown, soaring cases were putting immense pressure on hospitals. This investigation from The Times shows officials devised a brutal ‘triage tool’ to keep the elderly and frail away.

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Source: The Sunday Times, 25 October 2020)

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