United Kingdom: to create new emergency centers for coronavirus patients

The United Kingdom reached a record number of coronavirus infections that overcame the 180 thousand cases, with the advance of the variant Omicron and the British authorities announced that they will urgently create new emergency centers.

This week the UK hit a record of 183 thousand new cases in one day and more than 10 thousand hospitalized patients and the health authorities announced that they will provide new emergency centers with at least 4,000 beds with the objective of improve attendance in case the number of infections exceeds the capacity of British hospitals.

Field hospitals

From the National Health System (NHS), they had anticipated the need to use “field hospitals” when before Christmas Eve the number of cases exceeded 100,000. With the new number of cases detected this week, the authorities of the public health system announced the construction of temporary structures on the grounds of eight hospitals, each one will have capacity for up to 100 patients and the works will begin this week.

The new centers will be named after the creator of the modern nursing system Florence Nightingale. The field hospitals will have specialists, nurses, doctors and non-medical personnel. The emergency centers will attend to people who are not sufficiently recovered to return home and who require minimal supervision during the recovery phase of the disease. Temporary hospitals may also be established in areas such as gyms, educational centers and spaces that can be converted to accommodate more patients if necessary. in order to create up to 4,000 beds.

“The nursing staff is exhausted”

The UK had already started using hotel and hospice facilities to safely discharge the largest number of patients once. But nevertheless, the initiative was criticized by Patricia Marquis, nurse and director of the Royal College of Nursing, a nursing union, who considered that “the additional capacity is more than buildings, equipment and beds” after warning that at this time “the nursing staff is exhausted and the number of people who do not work due to the coronavirus continues to increase, a solid plan is necessary on how the new centers will be provided with safe personnel.”

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“The staff is already overloaded and in many areas it is difficult to pay the necessary attention to the current number of patients in hospitals, community and social assistance. You can’t just redeploy staff to serve more patients without impacting the type of care that can be delivered, “added Marquis.

According to a survey by the RCN to More than 9,000 nursing workers in the UK, a good part of the staff are thinking of leaving the profession and are not happy with the number of workers in the area. Nurses constantly work on 12 hour shifts, in an effort to keep NHS services running, the survey indicates.

“Up in arms”

For his part, Professor Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director, on the other hand, welcomed the government’s decision. He specified that according to the high level of coronavirus infections and the increase in hospital admissions, the National Health System -NHS- is now “on the warpath.”

“We still do not know exactly how many of those who contract the virus will need hospital treatment, but given the number of infections we cannot wait to know before acting, so work is beginning today to ensure that these facilities are in place. his place, “he said.

In turn, Powis called on the population to follow the measures to limit the spread of covid-19 and receive the booster dose. “The science is clear. Two doses of vaccine do not provide enough protection against Omicron, so if you have not yet received a life-saving booster, don’t delay any longer.”, he remarked.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Sajid Javid said he hopes that Nightingale centers in hospitals will not have to be used, “but it is absolutely necessary that we prepare for all scenarios and increase capacity”.

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