Coronavirus

Experts warn the NHS is at breaking point with COVID-19

The NHS is at breaking point because of a surge in COVID-19 cases, top bosses of the health service have warned.

Hospital services are now hugely delayed, with people being forced to wait more than 100 times longer for routine treatments when compared to before the pandemic.

NHS data shows there are also delays in A&E admitting people onto wards.

It has been reported that people with cancer are being hugely impacted too with London’s King’s College Hospital being forced to stop all priority two treatments, which are those that need to be done within 28 days. Liver transplants have also been postponed across Birmingham’s major hospital trust.

Figures currently suggest that one in three people in hospital have coronavirus but in some places the numbers are even worse.

NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis has said at the moment the health service was facing an “exceptionally tough challenge” and services will continue to be delayed until the virus is under control.

The Independent newspaper has reported that a total of 200 medical combat technicians from the army are set to be called in to help at intensive care units in London.

There is a major NHS staffing crisis across the capital with nearly 15,000 people currently off sick, with 60% of those absences believed to be linked to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said they are continuing to “look at all options” when it comes to helping relieve the strain of the NHS.

There have been reports that hospitals might start using hotels to place patients. Speaking to Sky News, Mr Hancock said: “We’d only ever do that if it was clinically the right thing for somebody. But in some cases, people need step-down care, they don’t actually need to be in a hospital bed.”

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