health

London NHS hospital in ‘disaster medicine mode’ and ‘can’t provide high standard care’


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oyal London Hospital is in “disaster medicine mode” and unable to provide “high standard critical care” as the number of people suffering from Covid-19 continues to soar.

The news comes just days after it was reported that emergency vehicles had been forced to line up outside the the hospital in Whitechapel on Tuesday.

NHS chiefs at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel have emailed staff admitting they are so overwhelmed with cases “we are no longer providing high standard critical care, because we cannot”.

The email revealed in full by ITV News read: “We are now in disaster medicine mode. We are no longer providing high standard critical care, because we cannot.

“While this is far from ideal, it’s the way things are, and the way they have to be for now.”

“Every hospital in North East London is struggling, some with insufficient oxygen supplies, all with insufficient nursing numbers.

“Believe it or not, Royal London critical care is coping well relative to some sites.”

It also warned: “Kent is in a similar, if not worse, position.”

The memo tried to end on an optimistic note, saying: “Things are going to get harder before they get better (which they will, eventually). 

“As we get busy, we all tend to reach a limit, in some way or other. 

“Different people will do this in different ways at different times. Bear with them, offer an ear/shoulder (metaphorically of course, while maintaining social distancing!), be understanding. We’ll get through this better by getting through it together.”

 A tweet shared by Dr Julia Grace Patterson, Founder and Chief Executive of EveryDoctorUK said that the hospital managers had sent an email to staff warning of the “disaster mode” the hospital had entered.

She added that the content of this email was “shocking.”

In response to the leaked email Professor Alistair Chesser, group chief medical officer, Barts Health told The Standard: “The rapid expansion of intensive care beds in our hospitals has led to necessary changes in the clinical staffing model, in line with national guidance. Despite this, our dedicated staff are providing high-quality care for all who need it thanks to their dedication and skill.”

As of 8am on December 31 at Barts Health hospitals, the trust which manages Royal London Hospital, 701 inpatients have laboratory confirmed Covid-19.

Of those with confirmed Covid-19, 89 were newly diagnosed in the previous 24 hours and 146 patients with the confirmed Covid-19 are being cared for in intensive care. 



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