Coronavirus: Expert warns of five week wait for death rate to fall
The coronavirus picture in the capital is now reaching critical levels with trusts admitting they have no spare beds left. Many of the hospitals across London went without a single spare bed over the festive period as the new strain of the virus took hold of the capital. There is now concern the trusts may not be able to cope with any more cases over the next few weeks.
London hospitals are now resorting to cancelling or postponing cancer and cardiac surgeries.
Such is the dire state in the capital, ambulances are now being forced to wait outside to take in patients due to the lack of space.
In analysis conducted by the Evening Standard, the Whittington hospital had no spare beds on December 29.
As of Sunday, the figures also showed the Homerton, Kingston, Hillingdon, Whittington and North Middlesex hospitals had no crucial care beds left on Sunday 3.
London news: Six hospitals now full
Coronavirus: Six hospitals had no spare beds
London North West healthcare, which runs Northwick Park and Ealing hospitals also reported no spare critical care beds on the same day.
Many other trusts such as Kingston are now reporting they only have a maximum of six care beds for patients.
North Middlesex had two, while the Greenwich, Lewisham and Hillingdon trusts each had four.
Homerton hospital chief executive, Tracey Fletcher also reported the number of coronavirus cases in the trust had doubled within a week.
London news: Matt Hancock has admitted his concern
A nurse at Whittington hospital said corridors are now being transformed into makeshift waiting areas or wards.
She said: “Some are in corridors, being looked after in makeshift areas, makeshift wards have been created for covid patients, and ICUs are running out of space.”
CEO of NHS providers, Chris Hopson told the Today programme extra capacity must be found.
He added: “We are now at the point where unless we can access this capacity, we are not going to be able to treat the patients that we need to treat in the NHS.”
London news: Hospitals are now overwhelmed
London hospitals at breaking point
In support of his comments, a leaked briefing has revealed London hospitals are two weeks away from being overwhelmed by coronavirus.
During a Zoom call, NHS England London medical director, Vin Diwakar, stated the best-case scenario would find the NHS in London short of 2,000 general, acute and intensive care beds by January 19.
The Health Service Journal reported, NHS leaders are discussing opening up further capacity but may not be able to do that due to the lack of staff.
As NHS England figures show, London boroughs now have some of the highest rates of infection across the country.
Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Enfield, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Greenwich and Sutton are now reporting over 1,000 cases per 100,000 people.
The average across the rest of the country is 595.2 per 100,000.
According to City Hall, London now has an infection rate of 1,012 per 100,000 people as of the week ending January 1.
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The total number of cases of coronavirus across the capital stood at 453,389 as of January 5.
Due to these high case numbers, the Government has ordered the mass rollout of the vaccine in a single-shot approach.
Instead of waiting between the second and first doe of a shot, NHS staff will now issue vaccinations on a mass scale in order to reach a high number of the population.