In London we’re at where we were in the first wave and it’s going to get much worse over the next few weeks. A lot of places are cancelling planned care and surgeries to free up staff and beds for Covid patients.Dr Dolin Bhagawati, DAUK Editorial Lead
The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has surpassed the April peak in England, according to official data that emerged as the UK government prepared to decide whether to tighten restrictions on millions of Britons.
The high volumes are in part because of a deeper understanding by clinicians of how to treat the disease, according to NHS officials. Far more are surviving than earlier in the pandemic, but they may require weeks on a hospital ward to recover fully, doctors noted.
NHS leaders have warned that hospital capacity is at breaking point. “People are incredibly worried about what is to come. We’re in the eye of the storm, and the storm means something big and destructive — it’s a hugely challenging time,” said Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents leaders across the health service.
NHS leaders have spent months pressing the health service to make up lost ground by performing surgery and procedures delayed during the pandemic, with significant success.
However, Dolin Bhagawati, a London neurosurgeon who speaks for the Doctors’ Association UK, said rising Covid-19 admissions would have an inevitable impact on other services. “In London we’re at where we were in the first wave and it’s going to get much worse over the next few weeks,” he said. “A lot of places are cancelling planned care and surgeries to free up staff and beds for Covid patients.”
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