Posted: 13.01.21 at 07:28 by The Editor
AS hospitals in the region continue to battle on under extreme pressure, one of the region's leading administrators has refuted reports that operating theatres are being converted into intensive care units to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients.
As recently reported, major changes have been made to hospitals operated by the Mid and South Essex Trust as they adapt to the pressure on beds. This has included the cancellation of non essential operations.
And to avoid a drain on the supply of oxygen, the supply to some patients has been weaned.
However, Deputy Chief Executive of Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust Tom Abell has told Nub news that reports that operating theatres are now being converted are not correct. He says: "“Hard working staff are helping ensure our emergency capability is not at risk across the Trust. Non-urgent operations have been postponed, surgery is continuing to be prioritised based on clinical need and no operating theatres are being used by ICU.”
Meanwhile the NHS is considering plans to discharge patients into hotels as hospitals become swamped with COVID patients, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed - as he said it was "impossible to know" how long lockdown restrictions might last.
Mr Hancock says the government will "look at all options" to relieve pressures on the NHS.
"In some cases, people need step-down care, they don't actually need to be in a hospital bed," he said.