Covid pressure on NHS now ‘as bad as January second peak’ as admission rise, chief warns

Covid pressure on NHS now ‘as bad as January second peak’ as admission rise, chief warns

07/27/2021

COVID pressure on the NHS is as bad as January's second peak with hospital admissions rising, the chief has warned.

He said hospitals are set to face their biggest challenge yet, with cases still high and the country now unlocked.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, told the Independent: “Many NHS chief executives believe the next phase of our fight against Covid-19 is likely to be the hardest yet given the scale and breadth of pressures they face.

"They are clear that, now more than ever, the NHS must get the funding it needs to win that fight.

“Trust leaders have strongly welcomed the financial support they’ve received over the last 18 months. It’s been crucial to coping with Covid-19.

“But the government is currently stressing the need to repair the public finances and some are arguing that NHS funding can ‘return to normal’.”

“It is the task of NHS leaders to juggle these competing priorities and provide the best possible care to the greatest number of people.

“But they need maximum support from government. And they’re worried that, as the NHS budget is set for the second half of the year, that support won’t arrive.

"The government is stressing the need to restore public finances. But the NHS can’t meet the pressures it faces without the right funding.”

It comes amid reports over half of the Covid patients in hospital tested positive after being admitted.

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Leaked data suggests the majority of patients classed as being hospitalised with Covid-19 were initially admitted for different ailments.

Figures show patients were eventually diagnosed with Covid through routine testing that is required for everyone admitted to the hospital.

The data, covering all NHS trusts in England, suggests that as of last Thursday, just 44 per cent of Covid patients had tested positive by the time they were admitted.

The majority of cases were not detected until the standard Covid tests were carried out.

Fifty six per cent of Covid hospitalisations fell into this category, the data suggests.

NHS leaders have warned a mix of pressures in hospitals have led to many being short of thousands of beds.

And a combination of increased infections hitting staff and the effects of the hot weather have reportedly heaped more pressure on hospitals.

999 calls were claimed to be going unanswered for minutes at a time due to a lack of call handlers.

Last week at least seven out of ten England ambulance service trusts are thought to be reporting "extreme pressure" – often referred to as "black alert" incidences.

It is the most serious of the Operations Pressure Escalation Levels – used to measure stress, demand and pressure on the NHS.

Surgeries have been cancelled or delayed at a number of hospitals around the country, as staff isolate after being pinged.

And many trusts are rejigging their wards once again to make space for the growing number of Covid patients.

It comes as cases have dropped in the UK for the sixth day running in a positive sign, but experts have warned the effect of Freedom Day is still to come.

 

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