HOSPITALS in the south of England say they have seen a ‘real rise in pressure’ as the number of Covid patients needing treatment rapidly multiplies as the virus mutates.
Saturday was described as one of London Ambulance Service’s busiest in history. The service has urged people to call 999 only if there is a serious emergency.
Dr Katherine Henderson, from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said she experienced ‘wall to wall Covid’ while working at a hospital in London, and there was a ‘great deal of difficulty’ getting patients into the wards on Christmas Day.
She added: ‘The chances are that we will cope but we cope at a cost – the cost is not doing what we had hoped, which is being able to keep non-Covid activities going. It is always challenging in winter, nobody would say that it wasn’t, but at the moment the level of patient need is incredibly high.’
Meanwhile, doctors have warned that Scotland’s health system is ‘severely stretched’ while a Welsh hospital made an urgent appeal for help with Covid-19 patients on Saturday night.
On Sunday, some 30,501 infections and 316 deaths were recorded in the UK as the virus mutates, something neither the government nor its advisers anticipated.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) received as many emergency calls on 26 December as it did at the height of the first wave of Covid-19. The 7,918 calls were up more than 2,500 on the same day last year.
The GMB has also reported (see page 3) that it had ‘been flooded with complaints’ after staff learned on Sunday 27th December 2020 ‘that South East Coast Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) management have been preventing its own frontline staff, the brave NHS Paramedics and other frontline Ambulance professionals, from taking-up the offer of vaccinations from the Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, (BSUH).’
The GMB added: ‘To the horror of ambulance staff, some who had travelled almost 100 miles to access this treatment, they were met by a SECAmb manager who had been instructed to turn the staff away at the door.’ The GMB concluded: ‘The GMB Branch must now consider reporting this matter to the Care Quality Commission, the regulators of nurses, paramedics and doctors and to Sussex Police. It will also be seeking a vote of no confidence in the executive directors of SECAmb.’
The truth of the matter is that the Tory governments of May and Johnson were completely unprepared for the Covid-19 epidemic and this unpreparedness continues.
Exercise Cygnus, which took place in October 2016, found that that the UK was completely unprepared to deal with a pandemic. This unpreparedness resulted in the NHS being overrun by the virus when it struck, and in tens of thousands of elderly people in care homes dying.
The Johnson government then built a number of Nightingale hospitals, to give the appearance of massive change. However, there were not the staff to man them or even the equipment they needed. It was merely a show to make it appear as if the government was doing something.
In fact, the Tory government’s main concern was always the profits of British capitalism not the lives of working class men, women and children.
With the revived epidemic and a mutated Covid-19 now underway, ready to reveal its capacity to kill in the winter months, the time has come when there must be a government that puts the people of the UK first and the profits of the capitalists last.
Britain needs a workers’ government that will follow the path that China has shown as to how to deal with the virus, using a planned economy as its major weapon.
China, after a 100% lockdown, is now very much back on its feet while the UK is at the mercy of the virus.
With the winter almost upon us, workers must tell their trade union leaders to stop supporting the Tory government and its drive to maintain capitalism at the expense of the working class.
The trade unions must call a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers’ government.
This will nationalise the banks and the major industries and put them under workers’ management to proceed to eradicate the virus as the Chinese workers were able to do. There is no other way forward.