London hospitals declare major incidents as COVID-19 infections increase

  • Doctors in England have warned that the national health service staff at the “breaking point” and hospitals are running out of oxygen.
  • It comes amid a disturbing new increase in COVID-19 patients across the country, with scientists warning that a new, possibly more contagious coronavirus variant is responsible for a strong increase in infections.
  • There are now more COVID-19 patients in hospital than at any other time in the pandemic, and the London Ambulance Service said December 26 was one of its “busiest days”.
  • A hospital in south London had to declare an ‘internal incident’ over the weekend over pressure on services.
  • Some facilities in the city have also been forced to divert ambulances amid concerns about oxygen supply, according to the Independent.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Doctors in England warn that National Health Service staff are at a “breaking point” and that the hospital is running out of oxygen amid a disturbing increase in COVID-19 patients across the country.

Official NHS figures show that there are now more patients with COVID-19 in hospital than at the previous peak in the spring, while the London Ambulance Service said Boxing Day was one of its “busiest days”.

The British medical chief, Chris Whitty, said in a statement on December 19 that a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus could be partly responsible for a recent increase in infections.

The number of daily cases recorded in the UK rose to the highest ever on Monday, with 40,000 newly confirmed cases, according to government figures.

Increasing household mix over Christmas has also raised concerns that the situation could worsen in January.

According to the Independent, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in London – where the new coronavirus variant is particularly prevalent – had to be forced to divert ambulances to other hospitals amid concerns over its oxygen supply.

Patients with severe cases of COVID-19 are often placed on ventilating machines that require oxygen.

The hospital is part of the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, which said in a statement that it had declared an internal incident on Sunday as a “precautionary measure”.

Ambulances were asked to take emergency patients to nearby hospitals because the number of COVID-19 patients, according to the Independent, has more demand for oxygen pipes than was provided.

Several other hospitals in London also had to declare major incidents in the past week, the office said.


Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, a senior intensive care registrar and president of the UK Medical Association – an association representing more than 46,000 NHS doctors – said this week that NHS staff were at a “breaking point” partly because so many have become ill since the new coronavirus variant emerged.

“We’re incredibly thin on the ground,” Batt-Rawden tweeted. “NHS staff have not been given preference for the vaccine and are going sick in crowds with the new strain.”

Batt-Rawden also shared a recently-removed message from an NHS council in Wales asking medical students to provide support to COVID-19 patients, a treatment that allows patients to stay on their fronts for a long time be laid.

Figures published by NHS England show that on 28 December there were 20,426 confirmed COVID-19 patients in English hospitals. The figure was for the first time higher than the previous peak in April of 18,974.

uk coronavirus patients in hospital

Graph showing the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the UK from 19 December 2020.

British government

These figures are likely to rise dramatically as the new variant spreads through England.

Professor Andrew Hayward, an infectious disease expert who advises the UK government on COVID-19, said the government should impose further restrictions on social mixing to avoid a disaster in the new year.

“We are going to need decisive, early, national action to prevent a catastrophe in January and February,” Hayward told the BBC on Tuesday. The comments were quoted by Reuters.

The Emergency Scientific Advisory Group, a separate group advising the government on the coronavirus response, said according to Politico that Boris Johnson should close schools in January to prevent an even greater increase in coronavirus infections in January.

Cabinet Office Secretary Michael Gove said on Monday that he was “confident” that there would be a “staggered” return to secondary schools as planned.

“We are confident that we will be able to get schools back on track. Our plan and timetable are there, and we are working with teachers to deliver it,” he told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program. ” said.

Loading Loading something.