Hospital capacity is what matters at the moment

Robert Henderson

Over the Easter weekend the Nightingale Hospital in the  converted Excel conference and events centre  only had 19 patients when it has  available 500 beds now with the potential to scale up to 4000 to accommodate corolavirus patients.  The small number of patients  caused surprise and comment.

The fact that the Nightingale Hospital is  not used more extensively is irrelevant at the moment. The important thing is the Government has done the  right thing by making sure the  capacity is there if the virus  (or indeed any other virus)  becomes more demanding of patients in hospital beds.  There is also the possibility that a second wave of the virus will hit us.

Over capacity is what we need not under capacity. This is where British governments*from Cameron and May’s  governments  (and arguably Johnson’s) were at fault because they   ran down the in patient capacity so there was very little give in the system when demand rose.  Not only that but very little effort appears to have been made generally to plan for a novel virus attack – no adequate  supplies of protective equipment, no  equipment to test for the virus  and a lack of  equipment to aid sufferers , in particular ventilators and oxygen.  There are also reports coming through of drugs needed to treat and palliate patients are running short.

For the future all of these shortages must not be allowed to exist.

The other  general scandal is the  fact that UK is so dependent on  imports for staff, equipment and medicine.   Government must train sufficient medical staff  drawn from our own population and ensure that the UK can be self-sufficient in not only the goods required to tackle viruses but in drugs and  medical equipment. No more must the madness of the laissez faire  fantasy of  globalism be allowed to to drive public policy in the UK.

*The Blair and Brown can also be said to have indirectly contributed to the decline of the NHS over the past ten years because of the many PFI’s schemes they left behind which were ruinously expensive and constrained   government ‘s routine spending on the NHS  for years after the  crash of 2008. Instead the money went on PFI contracts.

Blair and Brown could also be blamed indirectly because  in the years leading up to  the 2008 crash they ramped up the UKL national debt massively – see https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/labour-re-writes-the-past-their-economic-management/

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