The health service lacks the beds, staffing and resources to cope with a serious outbreak of the coronavirus, The Independent has been told by senior doctors and nurses.
NHS staff from across the country warned hospitals are already unable to cope, with patients being looked after in spill-over wards and waiting hours for a bed, with one doctor saying it was already a “one in, one out mentality” for intensive care.
Other staff reported delays in lab tests, rationing of protective masks and equipment, and a lack of isolation areas for suspected coronavirus patients.
Suggestions from the Health Secretary Matt Hancock that the NHS would use “home ventilation kits”, and that an extra 5,000 intensive care beds could be created, were labelled “fanciful” by the chair of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses today.
Nicki Credland said: “If you already have a system running at 100 per cent capacity, the idea you can get a significant amount of additional beds is just not realistic. There simply aren’t enough beds for them. We will need to make difficult decisions about which patients are going to be admitted to intensive care."
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Source: The Independent, 5 March 2020