Exclusive: Covid-19 patient transfers to new London facility cancelled owing to lack of ICU nursesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageDozens of patients with Covid-19 have been turned away from the NHS Nightingale hospital in London because it has too few nurses to treat them, the Guardian can reveal.Epidemics of infectious diseases behave in different ways but the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed more than 50 million people is regarded as a key example of a pandemic that occurred in multiple waves, with the latter more severe than the first. It has been replicated – albeit more mildly – in subsequent flu pandemics. Continue reading...
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Consultant and photographer Nick Mason shares his experience and that of colleagues at the Royal Gwent...Consultant and photographer Nick Mason shares his experience and that of colleagues at the Royal Gwent hospital in Newport, offering a unique perspective documenting the impact of Covid-19 on the NHS frontlineCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHumankind cannot bear very much reality.” TS Eliot, Burnt NortonHuman memory is fickle. Only a few brief months ago, many intensive care units (ICUs) across Britain came close to being overwhelmed by patients with a novel coronavirus, unknown to medicine before January of this year, and causing potentially life-threatening lung disease in up to 20% of those it infects. With the relaxation of the lockdown, however – only possible because it had been so effective – and the good summer weather in which we have been encouraged by Westminster to eat, drink and be merry, we have begun to forget. We have rapidly forgotten the fear and anxiety that rightly held Britain in their grip throughout the spring of 2020, the 40,000 people who died from a single infectious disease within a few brief months and the incalculable suffering caused to their families. We have forgotten that more than 600 health and social care workers died as a result of their work caring for others. Continue reading...
The hospital trust that treated Boris Johnson for coronavirus has dangerous Grenfell Tower-linked fire risks
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was treated for coronavirus by a hospital trust that has dangerous...UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was treated for coronavirus by a hospital trust that has dangerous Grenfell Tower-style cladding on one of its buildings. Hospitals treating coronavirus patients are a special risk for fires due to the amount of oxygen used in treatment and because sedated patients are difficult to evacuate in an emergency. Twenty-six people have been killed in fires at hospitals treating COVID-19 patients this year. At least seven NHS hospitals still have the kind of construction that killed 72 people in the Grenfell fire of 2017, Insider's investigation has found. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. An NHS Trust hospital that treated Prime Minister Boris Johnson in intensive care for coronavirus in April has dangerous Grenfell Tower-style cladding on one of its buildings, hospital officials confirmed to Insider. A spokesman for the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust told Insider that it still had aluminum composite (ACM) panels on its cancer center in London Bridge. The panels failed fire safety checks after the Grenfell fire. The Grenfell Tower inquiry found that ACM, combined with plastic foam insulation, caused the fire to accelerate through multiple floors to the building, trapping and killing 72 people in 2017. The report from Phase 1 of the inquiry stated: "The principal reason why the flames spread so rapidly up, down and around the building was the presence of the aluminum composite material (ACM) rainscreen panels with polyethylene cores, which acted as a source of fuel. The principal mechanism for the spread of the fire horizontally and downwards was the melting and dripping of burning polyethylene from the crown and from the spandrel and column panels, which ignited fires lower down the building. Those fires then travelled back up the building, thereby allowing the flame front to progress diagonally across each face of the tower." The government then ordered all large buildings to check whether their structure contained similar material to that at Grenfell. The NHS manages more than 3,000 buildings nationally. COVID-19 treatment units are a special fire risk Critical care units treating coronavirus patients are especially vulnerable to fires due to the copious amounts of oxygen used in treatment. COVID-19 patients are often sedated while receiving oxygen, making them difficult to evacuate in the event of a fire. Another NHS hospital, in Lewisham, caught fire on July 26 this year. Since May 2020, at least 26 patients and hospital staff in COVID-19 units have died in hospital fires around the world. Eight COVID-19 patients died in a fire in a hospital in India just a week ago. Another 11 died in a fire at a different COVID-19 treatment facility in India on Aug 9. A further six people died in two separate blazes at Russian hospitals in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Lewisham MP Vicky Foxcroft (Labour) has written to Johnson demanding clarity on hospital fire safety. See Insider's investigation of Grenfell fire risks at NHS hospitals: 7 UK hospitals at risk of Grenfell Tower-style inferno as coronavirus care unit evacuated A London hospital placed coronavirus patients in a critical care unit it knew was a 'Grenfell' fire risk The hospital trust that treated Boris Johnson for coronavirus has dangerous Grenfell Tower-linked fire risks The cancer center at Guy's failed a combustibility test that the hospital was instructed to carry out after Grenfell three years ago, the spokesman said. In a statement on its website, the Trust said that its initial investigation into whether there was ACM cladding at Guy's only looked at Guy's Tower and did not find concerning cladding there. But further "more detailed checks" on its buildings identified rainscreen panels, which protect a building from rain, that it suspected had ACM. "It was post the Grenfell Tower fire when everyone was having to inspect their buildings. That was when it was found to be a problem," Senior Media Manager Matthew Barker told Insider. ACM was found to constitute 15% of the surface structure of the Cancer Centre, according to a person familiar with the matter. 7 UK hospitals still have dangerous cladding Boris Johnson was treated in an intensive care unit about a mile down the road at St Thomas', the sister hospital to Guy's in the same NHS trust. The trust treats coronavirus patients at both its Guy's and St. Thomas' locations, at London Bridge and Waterloo, respectively. Insider reported last month that six hospitals still had dangerous cladding and insulation that was identified after Grenfell Tower, according to data from the Ministry of Housing. Barker said he believed that Guy's "must be" on the Ministry of Housing's list of six hospitals that haven't removed dangerous cladding. The Grenfell fire occurred just a year after the state-of-the-art cancer center was built. The ministry did not respond to a request for confirmation that Guy's was on the list by the time of publication. Guy's officials told Insider that the hospital now has a plan to remove the cladding and that funding to do so has been confirmed. They did not specify when the funding was given the green light. When a seventh hospital, King's College Hospital, shut a critical care unit in July after an inspection — and questions from Insider — highlighted Grenfell-related fire risks, it transferred Coronavirus patients to Guy's and St Thomas'. "Some patients were transferred to GSTT," the spokesman for King's said in an email dated July 28.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
The prime minister says he is hoping for the best but planning for the worst. We...The prime minister says he is hoping for the best but planning for the worst. We look at key areas of concernCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBoris Johnson’s approach to a winter wave of Covid-19 is to hope for the best but plan for the worst, he said on Friday. The worst-case scenario was spelled out earlier in the week by the Academy of Medical Sciences: as many as 120,000 hospital patients dead. Avoiding that will depend on the state of preparations in many areas. Continue reading...