Britain has been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic because the NHS was under-resourced and understaffed, a major report suggests.
It took the UK 20 days longer than the rest of Europe to get the first wave under control in the spring, according to a healthcare comparison.
The 237-page report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which assesses healthcare delivery and patient outcomes in Europe, warns that it took the UK 54 days to bring down the crucial R rate below 1 for four consecutive days.
A report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found it took 54 days for the UK to bring the crucial R rate below 1 for four consecutive days.
Only Sweden took longer, at 58 days, while the European average was 34 days. The NHS staff crisis has proven to be the “most compelling constraint” on the country’s response to the first wave. A lack of contact tracing capacity has also hampered the UK’s ability to fight the virus.
The report found that the NHS had fewer beds and fewer staff per capita than the European average – despite higher healthcare spending.
He warned: “On a per capita basis, the UK had one of the highest numbers of infections and deaths from Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic in spring 2020, along with Belgium , France, Italy and the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.
As of mid-November 2020, more than 1.4 million cases of Covid-19 had been recorded in the UK and more than 52,000 deaths from Covid-19 had been recorded.
He added: “The shortage of health personnel was the most compelling constraint in meeting the surge in demand for intensive care, putting intense pressure on existing personnel.
“The UK has fewer hospital beds per capita than almost all European countries except Sweden and Denmark. “
The report says that before the pandemic, there were half as many beds per capita in Britain than the EU average – 2.5 beds per 1,000 inhabitants compared to 5 beds per 1,000 in the countries of the United States. ‘EU.
It took the UK 20 days longer than the rest of Europe to get the first wave under control in spring
For intensive care unit beds, the UK had 10.5 per 100,000, compared to an average of 12.9 beds in EU countries ”.
However, per capita health spending in the UK remains well above the EU average – € 3,154 per capita, compared to an EU average of € 2,572.
The report also bares the impact of the foreclosure on the UK economy, saying it “was one of the most serious among European countries.” Compared to the first quarter of 2020, GDP fell almost 20 percent in the second quarter ”.
Stefano Scarpett, of the OECD, said: “The way the virus entered countries, the policy responses, the severity of the lockdown, are all factors that explain the time it took to bring R back into below one. “