Covid England: NHS alert level downgraded from highest level four to three

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Covid England: NHS alert level downgraded from highest level four to three


NHS England lowered its coronavirus alert level today because so few patients are hospitalized with the virus.

CEO Sir Simon Stevens recommended that the health service be moved from the highest level four to level three due to “much reduced acute pressures on the health service”.

He cited the fact that there are currently only 4,000 coronavirus patients being treated in English hospitals, up from 34,000 at the peak in mid-January.

This means that nationwide there are now just 400 more patients in hospitals of all conditions than last year, before the pandemic struck.

Level four means health officials believe there is a real threat that an expected influx of Covid-19 patients could begin to force the shutdown of other vital services.

A level three alert signals the Covid virus is in general circulation, but it is unlikely to overwhelm the health service anytime soon.

Sir Simon attributed “both the drop in infection rates in the community and the impact that is now being felt from the vaccination program” to the dramatic reduction in hospitalizations.

Britain has vaccinated around 54% of all adults – nearly 28.7 million people. But only 5% of people – 2.5 million – have had both strokes since the mass program began last December.

NHS England lowered its coronavirus alert level from four to three today due to ‘much reduced acute pressures on the health service’

Managing Director Sir Simon Stevens recommended the move due to 'much reduced acute pressures on the health service'

Managing Director Sir Simon Stevens recommended the move due to “much reduced acute pressures on the health service”

NHS England was raised to a level four alert level in November when the number of patients hospitalized with Covid surpassed 10,000.

Sir Simon said today: ‘We had over 34,000 critically ill coronavirus patients in our hospitals as of mid-January. That number is now 4,000.

“Although it is still around 400 more Covid patients than we had this same day a year ago, nevertheless this very sharp decrease in the number of Covid patients in hospital is a consequence of both the decrease infection rates in the community and the impact that is now being felt by the immunization program.

Kent NHS confidence fears a surge in Covid in June which could see it treating as many infected patients as it did during the peak last April

An NHS trust is worried about facing a huge outbreak of Covid this summer – and is preparing to treat as many infected patients as it did last April.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, which was hit hard in Wave 2, expect up to 100 beds to be occupied by coronavirus patients by mid-June in a “reasonably optimistic” scenario.

But he warns that could double to 200 beds – more than a quarter of those available – if the vaccination rate is low, hampered by supply issues or affected by new variants.

The trust, which operates two hospitals, saw 90 beds occupied by Covid patients at the height of the first wave last spring.

But that climbed to over 300 during the darker days of Wave 2, after Kent’s more infectious variant sparked a devastating outbreak.

The forecasts were based on modeling by local health chiefs. But NHS sources said similar plans made in other trusts were based on grim predictions by SAGE that there could be a third wave of hospitalizations later this year.

Experts dug holes in the SAGE forecast, pointing out that coronaviruses are seasonal and spread best in winter.

“Because of these much reduced acute pressures on the health service, I recommend today reducing the national alert level across the health service – the EPRR alert level – from level four to level three. , and it would take effect today. “.

Across the UK, cases have dropped in recent weeks. There are currently an average of 5,500 new infections every day, up from 60,000 in January.

This, combined with the fact that vaccines have already been administered to the vast majority of people belonging to the nine main priority groups, has led to a drastic drop in hospitalization rates.

Daily Covid admissions stood at 360 yesterday, according to the latest figures, up from 4,000 at the peak of winter.

The health service was initially put on a level four alert in January before the outbreak’s first peak, but was demoted in August when England managed to flatten its curve thanks to the lockdown.

Despite the vaccine triumph and a plethora of encouraging statistics, some NHS members fear yet another spike in admissions when the lockdown lifts.

It emerged today that NHS confidence in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, Kent, which was hit hard in the second wave, has already started planning for a wave as big as last spring’s.

Confidence expects up to 100 beds to be occupied by coronavirus patients by mid-June in a “reasonably optimistic” scenario.

But he warned that could double to 200 beds – more than a quarter of those available – if the vaccination rate is low, hampered by supply issues, or affected by new variants.

The trust, which operates two hospitals, saw 90 beds occupied by Covid patients at the height of the first wave last spring.

But that climbed to over 300 during the darker days of Wave 2, after Kent’s more infectious variant sparked a devastating outbreak.

The forecasts were based on modeling by local health chiefs. But NHS sources said similar plans made in other trusts were based on grim predictions by SAGE that there could be a third wave of hospitalizations later this year.

The minutes of the Trust’s meeting, revealed by the Health Service Journal, showed it estimated a peak in hospitalizations at Covid this summer.

“With the return of schools and the change in public behavior, infection levels have a high likelihood of resuming in younger and less medically vulnerable populations,” they said.

“This was seen in the fall, when the number of cases started to rise in the younger population, but hospital admissions remained very low until a few weeks later when infections started to kick in. increase in older populations.

But Confidence also predicts that hospitalizations are expected to start declining from June in its “optimistic scenario” as the pandemic begins to “run out”.

They said this would be due to the fact that the percentage of the population protected against the virus, whether against vaccination or a previous infection, would reach the critical level of 70 to 75% of “herd immunity”.

Ministers aim to immunize every adult in the country – 52 million people – by the end of July.

But their deployment hit a snag this week amid a stalled delivery of 5 million doses from India and threats from the EU of a vaccine export ban.

And as time passes when the second doses need to be delivered en masse, millions of doses are withheld to ensure the NHS has a sufficient supply.

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