There is an alarm in UK hospitals, with high numbers of infections from Covid-19 appearing in available spaces in hospital facilities, with doctors and paramedics talking about being “on the verge of first aid”. What is happening? The country has recorded more than 40,000 new cases for five consecutive days and Ace – the chief executive officer of the Association of Ambulances – forces patients to wait in ambulances outside hospitals, in some cases up to eleven hours. Coronavirus infections have increased significantly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted all restrictions, including the obligation to wear masks and distance indoors. This is the highest growth since July. And hospitals are suffering.
Covid cases are on the rise and the UK’s “emergency room is on the verge”
The country is reaching a peak marked during the second wave of the pandemic last winter, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics. In fact, the data indicates an increasing trend: in the week from 4 to 10 October, nearly one in 60 people in England had Covid, compared to one in 70 in the previous week. In the beginning of October, positive cases were about 30 thousand daily. In September, 21 million British people turned to emergency facilities in hospitals, according to data from the National Health Service (NHS). This increase was 30% as compared to September 2020. 999, the number one calling for medical emergencies in the United Kingdom, received 946,707 calls in September, compared to 713,975 in the same month in 2020. Delays in transferring patients to hospital often also affect ambulance response times to emergency calls, which in England are currently the longest since data were recorded, i.e. since April 2018.
“We are extremely concerned about the unprecedented level of delay in transferring patients to hospital,” Martin Flaherty, director of the S.A., told the Guardian. British guidelines provide for a maximum of 15 minutes to transfer patients from ambulances to hospital wards, but with twenty vehicles queuing at the entrance to emergency rooms, the operation takes months. This is a chronic problem that the national health system (NHS) has not yet been able to solve and which is exacerbated by the strong pressure placed on emergency services by Covid.
Dr Ian Higginson, vice president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “I am deeply concerned that these delays will become more severe, without effective planning on how to address them.” “We are on the cusp of the quality of care for our patients,” Higginson said. “Delays in transferring patients to hospital often also affect ambulance response times to emergency calls, which are longer since data were recorded in England at this time, ie from April 2018”, reports the doctor. .
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