Evening Standard

Greater Manchester is running out of hospital beds, leaked NHS report reveals

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 19/10/2020 00:08:00 Harriet Brewis
a person sitting next to a brick wall © Provided by Evening Standard

Greater Manchester is set to run out of hospital beds as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the region, a leaked NHS document suggests.

Hospitals in Salford, Stockport and Bolton are already full according to the analysis, which has been shared with The Guardian.

A local spike in Covid-19 infections pushed them to maximum capacity by Friday, leaving them with no spare beds in which to treat the growing number of patients.

It comes amid ongoing clashes between ministers and northern leaders over the terms under which the area will enter Tier 3 of the Government's Covid alert system.

The document suggests that Greater Manchester's hospitals are hurtling towards breaking point - unable to cope with the number of virus patients needing life-saving emergency care.

By Friday, 82 per cent of critical care beds in the region - 211 out of 257 - were already being used by Covid sufferers or other critically ill patients, The Guardian reported.

The disclosures come after another document, obtained by the Manchester Evening News, showed that the region is set to suffer more hospital deaths by late November than it saw at the peak of the pandemic in April.

Some of the area's hospitals, including those in Tameside and Stockport, could have double or even treble the number of patients needing intensive care by November 10 than they are able to accommodate, the second report suggests.

"These projections paint a stark picture, with the possibility in a worst-case scenario that some intensive care units in the city potentially run out of beds within weeks," Dr Rob Harwood, chair of the British Medical Association's consultants committee, told the paper.

"They also suggest that the number of patient deaths may even overtake those seen during the peak of the pandemic earlier this year.

"The last thing we want to see is a repeat of the numbers of cases - and the subsequent pressures on hospitals - that we saw back in April, but worryingly this analysis forecasts just that.

"The situation in the region is alarming, with the number of new infections remaining worryingly high, and doctors are incredibly concerned that unless the rate of transmission is curbed urgently, it is possible that we may soon see a further increase in patients needing intensive care and, tragically, an increase in deaths."

A spokesperson for the NHS in Greater Manchester told The Guardian: "We are monitoring the situation with our hospital admissions, overall beds and ICU beds very, very closely.

"It's not unusual for 80 to 85 per cent of ICU beds to be in use at this time of year and our hospitals work together if there are particular pressures in any one area, to ensure the best care for patients who need the high level of support ICU provides, both for Covid and for other reasons."

It comes after Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), warned that hospitals in Liverpool could exceed healthcare capacity by the end of next week.

Prof Semple spoke of the "dire situation" on Wednesday, as Tier 3 measures were imposed on the city region.

"We have got over 300 patients in beds and our intensive care capacity is currently running at 90 per cent," he warned.

"At this rate we are looking at exceeding healthcare capacity in the next week or so."

Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

19. lokakuuta 2020 3:08:00 Categories: Evening Standard

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