Matt Hancock discusses coronavirus risk to those in their 60s
Under the measures, patients will be discharged early and sent to either care homes, hospitals, or even back to their own homes for continued care, the Guardian has claimed. It is thought “thousands” could be affected by the plans, which aim to free up hospital beds for more serious cases.
The NHS is said to be in talks with the London Hotel Group (LHG) which owns Best Western hotels.
Already, LHG has started accepting coronavirus patients who are homeless from London’s King’s College hospital.
In terms of patient care, military medical personnel and volunteers from the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance are expected to step up.
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For those sent home, families will have to provide care instead, though health professionals may help out if possible.
A spokesperson from LHG described the plan as affecting NHS patients who are “medically fit for discharge, and thus do not require specialist medical supervision or specialist care, but can’t yet return home”.
However, Lucy Watson, head of the Patients Association, voiced concerns about the situation the NHS must be in to consider the measures in the first place.
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She told the Guardian: “This is a dire situation, in which the NHS often has no good options available.
“Discharging patients early from hospital is likely to be one of few options open to the NHS to manage the scale of the current need.
“However, early discharge can often cause problems that result in harm to the patient and the need to re-admit them.”
According to the latest Government figures, there are 35,075 coronavirus patients being treated in hospitals around the country at the moment.
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This rose by 4,240 yesterday, bringing the total amount of patients admitted to 314,198.
The number of daily admissions currently is higher than at any time during the first wave of infections back in March and April.
Meanwhile, London’s NHS Nightingale hospital has reopened and is taking patients in an effort to take pressure off of other hospitals in the capital.
The hospital was first opened back in April but was placed on standby the following month after treating fewer than 20 patients.
NHS medical director Dr Vin Diwakar has said the centre is being used to care for patients not being treated for coronavirus.
However, in yesterday’s Downing Street press conference, he warned: “We cannot do this indefinitely.
“There comes a point where if the infection gets further out of control, more and more patients from London will need to be transferred elsewhere.”
Dr Diwakar described Covid-19 as “a horrible, horrible disease that leaves so many, including young people, breathless and gasping for life”.
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