UK Nightingale hospitals prepared for a pandemic to overwhelm the NHS

UK Nightingale hospitals prepared for a pandemic to overwhelm the NHS
UK Nightingale hospitals prepared for a pandemic to overwhelm the NHS
The number of coronavirus cases in the UK continues to rise. By the end of the week, around 8 million people in England will be under Tier 3 lockdown – the highest level of alert. Over 200,000 people in Warrington were placed under Tier 3 restrictions last night, and nearly 700,000 people in areas of Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands will follow them this Thursday.

The UK recorded nearly 43,000 cases over the weekend and 20,890 cases on Monday. Another 174 people died with COVID-19 on Saturday, 151 on Sunday and 102 yesterday – sums that have not been seen since early June.

The Nightingale Hospital North West in the main Manchester Exhibition Center

Seven temporary Nightingale hospitals set up in England this spring are due to reopen. They were supposedly created to ease immense pressure on an already overstretched and underfunded NHS hospital network. Manchester Nightingale reopened this week after an increase in COVID cases in the North West and Nightingales in Sunderland and Harrogate are on standby.

The deputy chief medical officer for England admitted that the rapid increase in cases wasn’t limited to the north and that the virus was spreading nationwide. The R. The (reproductive) rate of the virus is above 1 across the UK, with cases still increasing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The number of cases in the hospital is currently slower than in the initial stages of lockdown, in which around 3,000 patients were admitted daily – three times the average of all combined respiratory viruses in midwinter.

When the pandemic hit the UK, tens of thousands of operations were canceled. Waiting lists over the summer reached record highs. The pressure to clean up this residue while dealing with the recurrence of the virus will have a serious impact on an already troubled NHS.

An adviser in Manchester said that Guardian“The difference this time around is that we’re trying to continue all of the voting activity and it’s going to be a challenge.” She added, “We were all concerned that winter would bring different stresses, but we quietly hoped we would Had some immunity, but that just wasn’t the case and it’s pretty obvious now that this is a real second wave. ”

A recent survey of NHS providers found that staff burnout and backlog were a terrible burden on the healthcare system. Ninety-nine percent of the 199 hospitals surveyed said they were concerned about staff burnout. At least 94 percent were concerned about the added seasonal pressures of the winter period. The British Medical Association (BMA) warned of the many problems associated with the disabling Brexit scenario, which is likely to displace NHS workers and also disrupt supply chains.

These are the prerequisites for a disaster in the NHS this winter.

In the winter of 2016, the NHS was brought to its knees for a number of weeks by a bad influenza season. The bed occupancy was 94.7 percent – almost 10 percent above the “safe” threshold. In the first week of January 2016, 18,000 people in corridors had a waiting time of more than four hours and 485 people had a waiting time of more than 12 hours.

The NHS has since seen four more years of relentless attacks by the Tory governments that have resulted in cuts, sell-offs and staff departures. According to official information from GuardianThe NHS desperately needs another £ 1 billion to cope with the COVID-19 resurgence, “face the coming winter and resume routine operations …”

An article on the Nursing blog site NursingNotes It shows that there are currently around 43,000 nursing vacancies, which begs the question of who will employ the additional Nightingale hospitals.

The article also drew attention to the fact that MPs and non-NHS workers were granted a raise that year. You will receive an additional £ 3,300. It reads: “Over the past decade, MPs’ salaries have risen by a massive £ 19,694 while the salary of the most experienced frontline nurses has only increased by £ 3,081 – well below inflation.” Side of out NursingNotes, with over 140 comments in response.

Carol commented, “It means all clinics and outpatients will be closing again! Smaller operations are postponed for another year! How will the nhs ever catch up? Mind you, the private hospitals will continue to do their cosmetic surgery as I expect! ”

Joe wrote: “Nightingales are a joke. They’re empty again because they don’t have the staff or equipment to keep them open properly. This is nothing more than a PR stunt designed to give people a false sense of security. ”

Jart said: “All MPs, Boris and his cabinet should work there [at a Nightingale hospital] as they are about to receive the biggest wage increase (sic) they will have in a decade! ”

Another, Angie, wrote, “I don’t think many nurses would take the risk of returning to the front lines after the disastrous numbers and loss of life in the first wave.”

This referred to the over 650 health and social worker deaths directly from the deadly virus.

The Nightingale Hospitals were, from the start, a public relations stunt by the Johnson administration designed to create the impression that they were mobilizing the necessary resources to fight the virus.

A doctor told the WSWS in April, “You [the government] knew these hospitals couldn’t function properly. COVID-19 patients could never be properly treated there. They did not build the ventilation and air conditioning systems required in the ITU [intensive therapy unit] Safely ventilate the patient. They were largely unsafe for other patients – they would spread the infection very quickly. ”

The doctor described the cynical motivation behind the government’s decision to open the hospitals. “They were only built because the public was against the government’s herd immunity policies and resented the loss of so many lives … but they were built as a temporary measure with no plan. The most important part of a hospital is staffing – but even existing hospitals lack staff. We saw more than 100,000 vacancies and due to government austerity measures, the number of hospital beds has been reduced by more than 30,000 since 2008. ”

The Independently reported last week that a new Nightingale hospital could be built for Liverpool as intensive care units in Liverpool’s hospitals are over 90 percent full. This makes Liverpool the third highest occupancy rate in Europe and the highest in Great Britain. The situation at the Royal Hospital in Liverpool is exacerbated by the fact that two floors previously used to treat COVID-19 patients can no longer be used due to construction work.

The ruling elite are making the same noises they made at the start of the spring lockdown in an attempt to contain the growing anger of populations across the country. Johnson’s government claims it is taking steps to combat the second wave of the virus despite having a herd immunity policy.

The unions and the Labor Party offer no alternative. Union leader Sir Keir Starmer has been a loyal ally of the Johnson administration on all major aspects of pandemic policy. Unions have helped implement unsafe workplace policies that have been responsible for hundreds of healthcare worker deaths from COVID-19. On Monday, NursingNotes reported the death of another nurse, Emma Vianzon, who survived a brain aneurysm and kidney transplant to die after contracting COVID-19.

We urge all healthcare workers to join the NHS Fightback Initiative and organize simple committees to fight for better wages, terms and conditions, and to ensure health and safety in the workplace. These committees must engage in a political struggle to secure the resources necessary for a fully functional health system. This requires control over the wealth and resources of the financial oligarchy, banks, big corporations and big pharmaceutical companies as part of the struggle for socialism.

For more information, see NHS Fightback:

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