NHS director admits skewed figures as listed Covid patients in hospital for other issues
NHS chief discusses reality of coronavirus hospital patient figures
NHS Confederation director Dr Layla McCay confirmed some people in hospitals with coronavirus were not admitted because of the disease. In England alone, some 27,000 people are in hospital with COVID-19, 40 percent more than during the first peak in April. Dr McCay also revealed there are 2,000 Brits needing ventilators across the UK.
Speaking on her talkRADIO show, Julia Hartley-Brewer asked: “When we say we’ve got X number of Covid patients in hospital, that simply means X number of people who have tested positive for Covid in hospital whether they are being treated for Covid, whether they have any symptoms of Covid.
“Is that correct or not?”
Dr McCay replied: “It is correct that in hospitals people who have tested positive for Covid will be the full range of symptoms.
“Some will have it on the side of another problem they have in hospital.
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“Some will have it so extremely severely that they’re having to be ventilated.
“There is that full range but what is important to note is we have nearly 2,000 people on ventilators for Covid around the country and that is huge.
“This time last year we didn’t have those people and now here they are needing ventilators, needing intensive care units.
“It is incredibly challenging, hospitals are telling us that they’re having to create extra intensive care units to manage the demand.”
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Dr McCay’s comments come after hundreds of medical professionals called for hospital staff to be given higher grade personal protective equipment (PPE) amid growing concern over the airborne transmission of coronavirus.
In an open letter to political leaders, doctors, nurses and consultants say healthcare workers on general wards are three to four times more likely to contract COVID-19 than the general population.
But they say intensive care unit staff, who have the best level of PPE, have about half the risk of catching the virus as staff on general wards.
The letter states: “This correlates with increased aerosol protection provided by higher-grade PPE and increased air exchanges in ITUs (intensive care units)”.
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“It is now essential that healthcare workers have their PPE upgraded to protect against airborne transmission.”
Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: “Nursing staff and all healthcare professionals need urgent reassurance from government ministers and scientists that they are sufficiently protected from the new variant, both by PPE and safety procedures in their place of work.
“Without delay, they must state whether existing PPE guidance is adequate for the new variant.”
She called for staff working with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases to be given higher-level PPE and urged a review “of the effectiveness of ventilation in health and care buildings”.
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