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https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northyorkshire/18808438.harrogate-hospital-ready-needed/
 

NHS Nightingale in Harrogate ready and able to take patients if needed (although not currently needed). Positive in many respects. Hopefully won’t be needed but gives us options if required.

 

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12982764/fewer-patients-icu-manchester-now-than-last-year/

https://inews.co.uk/news/analysis/manchester-intensive-care-beds-tier-3-restrictions-analysis-730414

Something I had completely missed. As mentioned by others who knows what stats to believe nowadays, but NHS E’s own stats suggest this time last year Manchester’s critical beds were 87 per cent full and Salford’s were 96 per cent full. Tameside 100 per cent full this time last year according to these links. 

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3 hours ago, It's Character Forming said:

I find the NZ comparisons really unhelpful. Being a country of 5m people in an extremely remote pair of islands is the ideal place to be for a pandemic. England is densely populated and very close to Europe so in the ways that matter right now we’re as different from NZ as could be.

 

We need to look at similar countries to us for our lessons, not NZ which has every natural advantage in dealing with this crisis.

"in the ways that matter right now we’re as different from NZ as could be."

Not really that significantly different, NZ also has densely populated towns and cities (eg. Wellington).  Surely it is relevant to learn from NZ that a very rapid response to outbreaks through a variety of restrictions (lock-downs, isolation etc.) all guided by a thoroughly competent track and trace system, has made a massive difference to their Covid-19 outcomes. 

But if want somewhere you consider more comparable then how about Germany?

"IGermany, from Jan 3 to 5:47pm CEST, 21 October 2020, there have been 380,762 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 9,875 deaths." ( https://covid19.who.int/region/euro/country/de)

Again, it seems the rapidity of the response combined with a competent track and trace system has made a massive difference to their Covid-19 outcomes (and they don't have the advantage of being an island). 

Sadly,  in an appalling misjudgement of the threat the virus posed, our government delayed its response and lost control from the beginning. It took several months at huge health and economic costs (the worst in europe) to gain some sort of control over it. Whether it has the ability or will to gain sufficient control of it again as the second wave descends is surely in question.  It was very apparent in PMQs that Johnson had no answer to the question of how tier-3 communities might retrieve their situation. Indeed, a SAGE member, prof. John Edmonds is predicting quite an horrendous prospect of "tens of thousands" more deaths: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/coronavirus/covid-uk-news-country-faces-tens-of-thousands-of-deaths-in-second-wave-sage-expert-warns/ar-BB1af8hT?ocid=msedgdhp

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5 hours ago, horsefly said:

"in the ways that matter right now we’re as different from NZ as could be."

Not really that significantly different, NZ also has densely populated towns and cities (eg. Wellington).  Surely it is relevant to learn from NZ that a very rapid response to outbreaks through a variety of restrictions (lock-downs, isolation etc.) all guided by a thoroughly competent track and trace system, has made a massive difference to their Covid-19 outcomes. 

But if want somewhere you consider more comparable then how about Germany?

"IGermany, from Jan 3 to 5:47pm CEST, 21 October 2020, there have been 380,762 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 9,875 deaths." ( https://covid19.who.int/region/euro/country/de)

Again, it seems the rapidity of the response combined with a competent track and trace system has made a massive difference to their Covid-19 outcomes (and they don't have the advantage of being an island). 

Sadly,  in an appalling misjudgement of the threat the virus posed, our government delayed its response and lost control from the beginning. It took several months at huge health and economic costs (the worst in europe) to gain some sort of control over it. Whether it has the ability or will to gain sufficient control of it again as the second wave descends is surely in question.  It was very apparent in PMQs that Johnson had no answer to the question of how tier-3 communities might retrieve their situation. Indeed, a SAGE member, prof. John Edmonds is predicting quite an horrendous prospect of "tens of thousands" more deaths: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/coronavirus/covid-uk-news-country-faces-tens-of-thousands-of-deaths-in-second-wave-sage-expert-warns/ar-BB1af8hT?ocid=msedgdhp

We are hugely different from NZ and I think we must be careful with our comparisons. If I was going for a comparison I would probably say New York state or France were the closest

True a lot of the NZ population is in greater Auckland or Wellington but that's about the only negative for them.  

If you can convince me that they also have dense inner cities,   a culture of high house occupancy in most cities and the community infrasteucture associated with that, crammed public transport, cities that are very closely  linked,  massive  international transport hubs and a history of cross border travel I'll probably agree with you though.

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1 minute ago, Barbe bleu said:

We are hugely different from NZ and I think we must be careful with our comparisons. If I was going for a comparison I would probably say New York state or France were the closest

True a lot of the NZ population is in greater Auckland or Wellington but that's about the only negative for them.  

If you can convince me that they also have dense inner cities,   a culture of high house occupancy in most cities and the community infrasteucture associated with that, crammed public transport, cities that are very closely  linked,  massive  international transport hubs and a history of cross border travel I'll probably agree with you though.

OK if you consider NZ a disputable comparison, what about Germany, South Korea, Japan etc? You certainly can't claim that Berlin, Seoul, and Tokyo are not densely populated cities. Of course higher density of population risks higher virus transmission, but the crucial point with all the cities I've mentioned here is that they are in countries with far more effective responses to Covid than the UK. In particular they have had far superior track and trace systems in place from the beginning. The governments of those countries were prepared for a potential pandemic and accordingly were able to put supressing measures in place rapidly. Our government engaged in a pandemic exercise (called exercise cygnus) in 2016 and decided to ignore the urgent recommendations that were made as a result (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8164389/2016-Government-pandemic-exercise-revealed-NHS-shortages-lack-protective-equipment.html). 

"A Government exercise four years ago predicted a deadly virus from Asia would arrive in the UK and leave the NHS on its knees, but was not published because the results were 'too terrifying'.  

In October 2016, epidemiologists from Imperial College London told Government ministers what Britain would look like seven weeks into a pandemic. 

Exercise Cygnus showed the NHS unable to cope, with a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses, inadequate numbers of ventilators and mortuaries overflowing."

They were warned about the very real likelihood of what would happen but chose to do nothing to prepare for it. It is this fundamental dereliction of duty that we should focus upon in our comparison (and explanation) of the the UKs dreadful record with the records of other countries. We top the European league in both deaths and the economic costs of Covid-19. But that position didn't occur because we got unlucky with the virus, it occured because we got unlucky with our choice of government.

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19 minutes ago, horsefly said:

OK if you consider NZ a disputable comparison, what about Germany, South Korea, Japan etc? You certainly can't claim that Berlin, Seoul, and Tokyo are not densely populated cities. Of course higher density of population risks higher virus transmission, but the crucial point with all the cities I've mentioned here is that they are in countries with far more effective responses to Covid than the UK. In particular they have had far superior track and trace systems in place from the beginning. The governments of those countries were prepared for a potential pandemic and accordingly were able to put supressing measures in place rapidly. Our government engaged in a pandemic exercise (called exercise cygnus) in 2016 and decided to ignore the urgent recommendations that were made as a result (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8164389/2016-Government-pandemic-exercise-revealed-NHS-shortages-lack-protective-equipment.html). 

 

Exactly and to that list you could add China of course - they also have massive densely populated inner cities,  a culture of high house occupancy in most cities and the community infrastructure associated with that, absolutely rammed public transport, cities that are very closely  linked,  massive international transport hubs and they were the only country in the whole world not to have any advance warning of the virus.

Nevertheless a rapid response, a very strict (though very focussed) lockdown, a huge fully functional test, track and trace stopped the virus quickly and completely, and life returned to normal (other than strict checks for travellers entering the country) months ago, as did the economy which is now back in growth.

The key factor is the response - that is blindingly obvious, whether you look at the best or worst cases. I'm afraid BB's waffle about population density\housing conditions is, as usual, just an attempt to deflect attention away from just how poorly our own government has performed.

Edited by Creative Midfielder

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9 minutes ago, Creative Midfielder said:

Exactly and to that list you could add China of course - they also have massive densely populated inner cities,  a culture of high house occupancy in most cities and the community infrastructure associated with that, absolutely rammed public transport, cities that are very closely  linked,  massive international transport hubs and they were the only country in the whole world not to have any advance warning of the virus.

Nevertheless a rapid response, a very strict (though very focussed) lockdown, a huge fully functional test, track and trace stopped the virus quickly and completely, and life returned to normal (other than strict checks for travellers entering the country) months ago, as did the economy which is now back in growth.

The key factor is the response - that is blindingly obvious, whether you look at the best or worst cases. I'm afraid BB's waffle about population density\housing conditions is, as usual, just an attempt to deflect attention away from just how poorly our own government has performed.

This recent report from the Lancet is well worth a read if you are interested in the response in China. Speed of action, a compliant population well aware of risks following sars, industrial capacity, differing social structures and family structures etc. An interesting article showing the benefit of swift and complete lockdown-
 
“While the world is struggling to control COVID-19, China has managed to control the pandemic rapidly and effectively. How was that possible? Talha Burki reports.
On Sept 22, 2020, US President Donald Trump gave a combative address to the UN General Assembly referring to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as the “China virus”. He demanded that China was held accountable for “unleash[ing] this plague onto the world”. Chinese premier Xi Jingping, who addressed the General Assembly after Trump, urged nations affected by COVID-19 to “follow the guidance of science...and launch a joint international response to beat this pandemic”. He added that “any attempt of politicising the issue or stigmatisation must be rejected”. 9 days later, Trump tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
According to a July survey by the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Americans believe that China has done a bad job dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is clearly not an opinion shared by WHO. In a press conference in September, Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, offered “deepest congratulations...to the front-line health workers in China and the population who worked together tirelessly to bring the disease to this very low level”.
As of Oct 4, 2020, China had confirmed 90 604 cases of COVID-19 and 4739 deaths, while the USA had registered 7 382 194 cases and 209 382 deaths. The UK has a population 20 times smaller than China, yet it has seen five times as many cases of COVID-19 and almost ten times as many deaths. All of which raises the question: how has China managed to wrest control of its pandemic?
Despite being the first place to be hit by COVID-19, China was well-placed to tackle the disease. It has a centralised epidemic response system. Most Chinese adults remember SARS-CoV and the high mortality rate that was associated with it. “The society was very alert as to what can happen in a coronavirus outbreak”, said Xi Chen (Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA). “Other countries do not have such fresh memories of a pandemic”. Ageing parents tend to live with their children, or alone but nearby. Only 3% of China's elderly population live in care homes, whereas in several western countries, such facilities have been major sources of infection.
“The speed of China's response was the crucial factor”, explains Gregory Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota, USA). “They moved very quickly to stop transmission. Other countries, even though they had much longer to prepare for the arrival of the virus, delayed their response and that meant they lost control”. The first reported cases of the disease that came to be known as COVID-19 occurred in Wuhan, Hubei province, in late December 2019. China released the genomic sequence of the virus on Jan 10, 2020, and began enacting a raft of rigorous countermeasures later in the same month.
Wuhan was placed under a strict lockdown that lasted 76 days. Public transport was suspended. Soon afterwards, similar measures were implemented in every city in Hubei province. Across the country, 14 000 health checkpoints were established at public transport hubs. School re-openings after the winter vacation were delayed and population movements were severely curtailed. Dozens of cities implemented family outdoor restrictions, which typically meant that only one member of each household was permitted to leave the home every couple of days to collect necessary supplies. Within weeks, China had managed to test 9 million people for SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan. It set up an effective national system of contact tracing. By contrast, the UK's capacity for contact tracing was overwhelmed soon after the pandemic struck the country.
As the world's largest manufacturer of personal protective equipment, it was relatively straightforward for China to ramp up production of clinical gowns and surgical masks. Moreover, the Chinese readily adopted mask wearing. “Compliance was very high”, said Chen. “Compare that with the USA, where even in June and July, when the virus was surging, people were still refusing to wear masks. Even in late September, President Trump still treated Joe Biden's mask-wearing as a weakness to be ridiculed”.
Drones equipped with echoing loudspeakers rebuked Chinese citizens who were not following the rules. The state-run Xinhua news agency has released footage taken from the drones. “Yes Auntie, this drone is talking to you”, one device proclaimed to a surprised woman in Inner Mongolia. “You shouldn't walk around without wearing a mask. You'd better go home and don't forget to wash your hands”. In the UK, 150 000 people were permitted to attend a horse racing meet in mid-March, 10 days before the country went into lockdown. In August, 460 000 Americans congregated in Sturgis, South Dakota, for a motorcycle rally.
On Febr 5, 2020, Wuhan opened three so-called Fangcang hospitals. Another 13 would appear over the next few weeks. The hospitals were established within public venues such as stadiums and exhibition centres and were used to isolate patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms of COVID-19. Patients who started to show symptoms of severe disease were quickly transferred to conventional hospitals. The network of Fangcang hospitals, which held 13 000 beds, meant that patients with COVID-19 did not have to isolate at home, which reduced the risk of family members becoming infected. By Mar 10, 2020, the Fangcang hospitals were no longer needed. From around the same time, the focus of China's countermeasures shifted from controlling local transmission to preventing the virus from taking hold as a result of imported cases. Those who entered the country were tested and quarantined.
A modelling study co-authored by Chen calculated that the public health actions undertaken by China between Jan 29 and Feb 29 may have prevented 1·4 million infections and 56 000 deaths. Still, it does not necessarily follow that China's response to the pandemic is generalisable. “As each country has its own health system and epidemic curve, measures implemented in one country may not be easily replicated by another”, points out Imperial College London's Han Fu. “Other factors such as coordination between government sectors and civil compliance with regulations may also affect the effectiveness of the response”. Much also depends on each nation's conception of civil liberties.
“In China, you have a combination of a population that takes respiratory infections seriously and is willing to adopt non-pharmaceutical interventions, with a government that can put bigger constraints on individual freedoms than would be considered acceptable in most Western countries”, adds Poland. “Commitment to the greater good is engrained in the culture; there is not the hyper-individualism that characterises parts of the USA, and has driven most of the resistance to the countermeasures against the coronavirus.” Poland noted that the Chinese accept the notion that disease control is a matter of science. “China does not have the kind of raucous anti-vaccine, anti-science movement that is trying to derail the fight against COVID-19 in the USA”, he said.
In August, Wuhan hosted an enormous pool party. There were objections from some foreign media outlets. The state-owned Global Times was unapologetic. It suggested that the event stood as “a reminder to countries grappling with the virus that strict preventive measures have a payback”. The newspaper quoted a local resident who back in April had feared he might be bankrupted by the pandemic. “There weren't even many local people, not to mention tourists. But now my business is blooming with the city having fully recovered”, he said.
 


 

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Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the Lancet for 25 years presented 5 papers to the government in January warning them exactly what course the virus would take in the UK if it failed to act immediately. Of course the government ignored him. 

I pray the day will come when this appalling bunch of mafia ministers will be called to account for the the needless destruction of lives that their culpable failures have allowed to happen.

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15 hours ago, ricardo said:

This is the problem for places like N. Zealand. Lots of vulnerable and few with any sort of immunity due to lack of exposure.

Hide until a vaccine arrives seems to be the answer.

There is a simple but alarming answer to that point Ricardo.

If the vaccines fail to work effectively its very hard to see how any 'herd immunity' or 'previous exposure' approach would either. Herd immunity would rapidly fade too.

NZ hopes currently to simply to control the virus until such time as the guinea pigs in place like us prove an effective vaccine. It's a win-win for them. All the advantages and few of the downsides. If a vaccine is possible they will have it in the Spring.

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14 hours ago, Aggy said:

200k = modelling system based on what actually happened and predicted outcomes. 600k = modelling system based on hypothetical conditions which don’t exist and haven’t for seven months (no restrictions at all). Literally no point using the 600k figure unless people are suggesting we scrap all restrictions - which nobody is. 

Nobody has said we should have shielding and nothing else. Literally said three times in last post we need other restrictions as well. The question asked was whether there was any argument for not having shielding in conjunction with other restrictions other than “some people might not comply”? As Sonyc says, no need to answer but twisting the question to try and belittle the point being made = not cool.

The point being made is:

your worst case scenario with no restrictions = 600k deaths.

We have got various restrictions in place, so 600k deaths isn’t going to happen, using the modelling you’ve linked.

Other modelling suggests previous lockdowns could have already caused potentially more than 200k deaths either having already occurred or will occur in the future. Ignoring that figure is outrageous.

It might be the case that more than 200k deaths in the medium to long term is the “better” figure but it needs to be considered and monitored. WHO director thinks so. Sage scientists think so. Boris clearly thinks so as we aren’t in full lockdown yet. You don’t. Fair enough.

Eg; (completely made up figures): if current restrictions will lead to 10,000 deaths from covid in a month and a lockdown for the same period would cause 10,000 “collateral” early deaths (20,000 total) then how does that change in various situations?

If full lockdown for a month reduces covid deaths to 2,000 but causes 75,000 “collateral” deaths in the next few years then full lockdown isn’t worth it. 
Equally if the initial figures were 100,000 deaths from covid in a month and lockdown helps reduce it to 10,000 in total including collateral then clearly lockdown is sensible.

Hospitals becoming overwhelmed needs  to be factored in. If they’re overwhelmed, more people will die than if they’re not overwhelmed. That’s obvious. But if the measures put in place to stop hospitals being overwhelmed will kill more than they will save, then are they worth it? 

I don’t know the figures. I expect the government does (or at least has pretty good modelling from various different disciplines) and the figures suggest that anything more than a one-off two week circuit break (and even that only if things get very bad) will cause more death than it will save. Which is why nowhere in the world is suggesting another full lockdown for sustained periods. 

Aggy - I'm not trying to argue with you - the original recent BMJ paper was simply trying to answer some basic Covid risk factors in simple lay-mans terms if left unchallenged. Given the data it stacked up with 600K extra deaths.

Of course restrictions will be employed and only in extremis will we go back into full open ended national lockdown again. However, as per last March we must ensure that the health services are not overwhelmed (which for a few months did mean some less urgent services where delayed (a clinical judgement) and also as is well accepted many many people were too scared to attend GP/hospital when they should). That will eventually materialize as some extra deaths.

But again what would you do differently ? There is no other practical option in extremis. We can't have people dying in the streets and corridors with no care because we refused to lockdown earlier and let it completely overwhelm everything  - health and the economy. Doctors and nurses get sick too.

The NHS mustn't get overwhelmed again (and it diverted huge resources from the less critical to Covid last Spring - which for the the very reasons you note it doesn't want to do again) and be able to continue (without the worried well) as now it's normal day to day services.

So we all surely accept that we must keep Covid at low enough levels to avoid repeating the above. All I can say and see is that the virus is continuing to grow quickly, deaths are rising (we will ignore other issues) - perhaps already a rate of around 25% of what they were at the Spring peak (900/day) and with at least two more weeks 'baked' in.

As in Norwich, Tier 1 doesn't seem to be stopping it, nobody thinks Tier 2 (the Tier 3 waiting room) does much (although economically it causes more hospitality issues) -  and then finally the open ended Tier 3 which may hold the fort but with nearly all the economic issues that worry you. How long do you think it will be on our current trajectory before most of country is Tier  3 ? Christmas ? At present we are heading straight back to where we were last Spring full speed ahead.

This is the true argument - far far better for a limited but effective circuit/fire break which will impact the virus rather than living in hope that somehow the existing system will limit the virus and all that it then entails.

This is Johnson's real weakness - as a 'populist - good-news only' guy he seems unable to make the big 'unpopular' calls until it's too late which is the mark of any true leader. He 'models' himself as a Churchill tribute act - well as per Churchill 'Action this day' and stop the bumbling along.

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57 minutes ago, Yellow Fever said:

This is Johnson's real weakness - as a 'populist - good-news only' guy he seems unable to make the big 'unpopular' calls until it's too late which is the mark of any true leader. He 'models' himself as a Churchill tribute act - well as per Churchill 'Action this day' and stop the bumbling along

Good article in the Guardian yesterday by Kettle. He stated Johnson is simply unable to negotiate. It's one of the key skills of the PM job. Johnson simply announces a way forward then is either stubborn until strongly challenged and then he u turns. 

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13 minutes ago, sonyc said:

Good article in the Guardian yesterday by Kettle. He stated Johnson is simply unable to negotiate. It's one of the key skills of the PM job. Johnson simply announces a way forward then is either stubborn until strongly challenged and then he u turns. 

I can agree - and as per WBB I don't think anybody's concerns with the government and Johnson in particular are traditional politics. I'm basically centre left  - but agree with some sort of poll tax - go figure - and don't like handouts for the work shy or those that don't try or just 'expect'.  Those that do need help or fall on hard times as anybody could get it with compassion not penny pinching though.  

For this government its all about incompetence or wishful thinking - You can almost guarantee whatever decision they make it will be the wrong one, the numbers spun or lied. From my American days they couldn't give away dollar bills in Times Square. They have dug such a hole they can't tell fact from fiction. 

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1 hour ago, Yellow Fever said:

 

I accept you’re not trying to argue with me. My point though is that you using those figures basically supported my main point yesterday - that we’ve become so scared of covid deaths that nothing else matters.

Your response to modelling which suggests hundreds of thousands of people might already have had death warrants signed as a result of the last lockdown, was to use modelling based on non-existent conditions to downplay those hundreds of thousands of deaths.
 

It would be like me saying we should ignore covid and resist lockdown because, I don’t know, if the government banned all essential workers and nhs staff from leaving the house, then millions would die from non-covid things. That would be a pointless argument because it doesn’t reflect reality. Arguing we should ignore hundreds of thousands of other deaths  because 600,000 might die if there are no restrictions and we do absolutely nothing about covid is equally pointless because we do have restrictions and are doing things about it.

 

As to the wider point re future steps/options....

The article I posted earlier showed that despite all the covid rates increasing for months now, the intensive care beds in the north west are at the same capacity they were last year 2019. If it was guaranteed that covid would overwhelm the nhs, then you’d expect to see higher rates of icu patients now than in previous non-covid years. That might still come to pass, but it hasn’t done yet despite four months of increasing covid infections. Why, I don’t know.

The Medical Director involved in the running of the Harrogate Nightingale hospital yesterday said they’re ready to accept patients - if needed (not currently).  

So currently, despite the huge numbers of covid infections being reported and numbers increasing for months, icus aren’t any more overwhelmed than they were this time last year and we’ve got additional capacity in nightingale hospitals sitting completely empty (and a director running one of them telling us yesterday they are ready to take patients if needed, so earlier staffing concerns presumably resolved at least in part).

Like I said in the last post, its a balance and when/if the modelling continues to show increasing “collateral” deaths, then that needs to be weighed against measures put in place to stop “direct” deaths. 
 

I expect the government has modelling from various disciplines and is taking everything into account. That modelling might suggest a two week circuit break will save more lives than it costs. It seems quite clear that the modelling suggests a more lengthy lockdown will cause more deaths than it saves, which is why nowhere is suggesting we have one. 

 

 

Edited by Aggy

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11 hours ago, Aggy said:

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northyorkshire/18808438.harrogate-hospital-ready-needed/
 

NHS Nightingale in Harrogate ready and able to take patients if needed (although not currently needed). Positive in many respects. Hopefully won’t be needed but gives us options if required.

 

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12982764/fewer-patients-icu-manchester-now-than-last-year/

https://inews.co.uk/news/analysis/manchester-intensive-care-beds-tier-3-restrictions-analysis-730414

Something I had completely missed. As mentioned by others who knows what stats to believe nowadays, but NHS E’s own stats suggest this time last year Manchester’s critical beds were 87 per cent full and Salford’s were 96 per cent full. Tameside 100 per cent full this time last year according to these links. 

yup, we were in "winter measures" for years according to my mate over there who was working in these hospitals. Funny how we turned a blind eye to it all pre covid.

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11 hours ago, Aggy said:

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northyorkshire/18808438.harrogate-hospital-ready-needed/
 

NHS Nightingale in Harrogate ready and able to take patients if needed (although not currently needed). Positive in many respects. Hopefully won’t be needed but gives us options if required.

Unfortunately, The Northern Echo is wrong on both counts.

The Harrogate Nightingale is very much needed - Covid capacity in Leeds is already swamped so I would be amazed if that wasn't the case in Bradford as well although I have no info on that.

The Harrogate Nightingale isn't ready - I believe it was told to get ready two or three weeks ago but the assumption\belief in Leeds is that they don't have the necessary staff available - why would they when our two main teaching hospitals are totally understaffed already, I can't imagine where they were expecting to magic them up from for the Nightingale.

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3 minutes ago, Creative Midfielder said:

Unfortunately, The Northern Echo is wrong on both counts.

The Harrogate Nightingale is very much needed - Covid capacity in Leeds is already swamped so I would be amazed if that wasn't the case in Bradford as well although I have no info on that.

The Harrogate Nightingale isn't ready - I believe it was told to get ready two or three weeks ago but the assumption\belief in Leeds is that they don't have the necessary staff available - why would they when our two main teaching hospitals are totally understaffed already, I can't imagine where they were expecting to magic them up from for the Nightingale.

You'd be correct Creative.

https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/18808623.surge-seriously-unwell-covid-19-patients-bradford-sees-suspension-select-surgeries/

But Look North had a feature this week that the Harrogate Nightingale could mobilise in 5 days if required and planning has been in place for a while. Yet it was the head saying it and I suppose she would be saying that.

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3 minutes ago, Creative Midfielder said:

Unfortunately, The Northern Echo is wrong on both counts.

The Harrogate Nightingale is very much needed - Covid capacity in Leeds is already swamped so I would be amazed if that wasn't the case in Bradford as well although I have no info on that.

The Harrogate Nightingale isn't ready - I believe it was told to get ready two or three weeks ago but the assumption\belief in Leeds is that they don't have the necessary staff available - why would they when our two main teaching hospitals are totally understaffed already, I can't imagine where they were expecting to magic them up from for the Nightingale.

they are still busy trying to staff the nightingales. One of my friends who was set to work there in April has got her job back there. No idea where they are with getting it resolved though. Harrogate area itself is doing reasonably well with containing things relative to the likes of Leeds, York and Bradford next door to us so I'd imagine it will be spillover from these areas that is first into the Nightingales. I wonder if they will redistribute more staff from other, less effected areas of the country to man these

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1 minute ago, Creative Midfielder said:

Unfortunately, The Northern Echo is wrong on both counts.

The Harrogate Nightingale is very much needed - Covid capacity in Leeds is already swamped so I would be amazed if that wasn't the case in Bradford as well although I have no info on that.

The Harrogate Nightingale isn't ready - I believe it was told to get ready two or three weeks ago but the assumption\belief in Leeds is that they don't have the necessary staff available - why would they when our two main teaching hospitals are totally understaffed already, I can't imagine where they were expecting to magic them up from for the Nightingale.

That I must say was my understanding as well re the Nightingales that the issues were staffing ie regular NHS self isolating, and stress and the lack of people able or willing to work in them. I am sure that is what the NHS person keeps repeating on Radio5. It is also reported ( by the NHS not the government ) that Liverpool are about to run out of ICU beds.

As always I will stand to be corrected.

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7 minutes ago, Creative Midfielder said:

Unfortunately, The Northern Echo is wrong on both counts.

The Harrogate Nightingale is very much needed - Covid capacity in Leeds is already swamped so I would be amazed if that wasn't the case in Bradford as well although I have no info on that.

The Harrogate Nightingale isn't ready - I believe it was told to get ready two or three weeks ago but the assumption\belief in Leeds is that they don't have the necessary staff available - why would they when our two main teaching hospitals are totally understaffed already, I can't imagine where they were expecting to magic them up from for the Nightingale.

 

1 minute ago, sonyc said:

You'd be correct Creative.

https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/18808623.surge-seriously-unwell-covid-19-patients-bradford-sees-suspension-select-surgeries/

But Look North had a feature this week that the Harrogate Nightingale could mobilise in 5 days if required and planning has been in place for a while. Yet it was the head saying it and I suppose she would be saying that.

 

1 minute ago, Tetteys Jig said:

they are still busy trying to staff the nightingales. One of my friends who was set to work there in April has got her job back there. No idea where they are with getting it resolved though. Harrogate area itself is doing reasonably well with containing things relative to the likes of Leeds, York and Bradford next door to us so I'd imagine it will be spillover from these areas that is first into the Nightingales. I wonder if they will redistribute more staff from other, less effected areas of the country to man these

 

Guys - these are all the reasons why we desperately need to keep the lid on Covid. The NHS is obviously already in places on the brink and having to make uncomfortable decisions.

It really doesn't matter anymore why the NHS was understaffed before or the fibs told about the Nightingales  - it's what we do now that matters.

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25 minutes ago, Creative Midfielder said:

Unfortunately, The Northern Echo is wrong on both counts.

The Harrogate Nightingale is very much needed - Covid capacity in Leeds is already swamped so I would be amazed if that wasn't the case in Bradford as well although I have no info on that.

The Harrogate Nightingale isn't ready - I believe it was told to get ready two or three weeks ago but the assumption\belief in Leeds is that they don't have the necessary staff available - why would they when our two main teaching hospitals are totally understaffed already, I can't imagine where they were expecting to magic them up from for the Nightingale.

Well it was me saying it was not needed yet rather than the article - on the basis there’s nobody in it.

The medical director yesterday said they’re ready to start accepting people. Not sure why she would say that yesterday if they weren’t.
 

Whether they can staff full capacity, I don’t know. But if the medical director says they’re ready to start accepting patients, I can’t believe for one second they wouldn’t be able to accept any.

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1 minute ago, Tetteys Jig said:

they are still busy trying to staff the nightingales. One of my friends who was set to work there in April has got her job back there. No idea where they are with getting it resolved though. Harrogate area itself is doing reasonably well with containing things relative to the likes of Leeds, York and Bradford next door to us so I'd imagine it will be spillover from these areas that is first into the Nightingales. I wonder if they will redistribute more staff from other, less effected areas of the country to man these

I think all that is right but the issue, I suspect, with trying to redistribute staff from other areas of the NHS is firstly that the NHS nationally is massively short of both nurses and doctors so even in areas with lower infection rates hospitals are likely to be understaffed already.

The other significant problem is that certainly for nurses, if not doctors, there are some very specific skills\training required for nursing Covid patients (use of ventilators being one of several) and these skills are not that common amongst nurses generally unless they have worked in A&E or Respiratory and even then not always - I guess quite a lot must have had training in recent months but what I can say for sure is that in our area we are having real problems on Covid wards because not omly are there insufficient numbers available to staff Covid wards properly (i.e. to run safely) but even within those numbers they are including nurses in the rota who don't have the skills required and so are effectively passengers.

The senior hospital management are well aware that these wards are runing unsafely yet still they are trying to cram more patients in (under instruction from the top I believe - threatened with financial penalties by the Government if they don't continue to deliver non-Corvid care targets, would you believe??). But still no sign of the Nightingale kicking in.

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Just now, Aggy said:

Well it was me saying it was not needed yet rather than the article - on the basis there’s nobody in it.

The medical director yesterday said they’re ready to start accepting people. Not sure why she would say that yesterday if they weren’t.
 

Whether they can staff full capacity, I don’t know. But if the medical director says they’re ready to start accepting patients, I can’t believe for one second they wouldn’t be able to accept any.

You're Manchester based aren't you Aggy? So you have a view on the Tier 3 arguments recently? Manchester certainly in the news a lot of late.

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26 minutes ago, Yellow Fever said:

Guys - these are all the reasons why we desperately need to keep the lid on Covid. The NHS is obviously already in places on the brink and having to make uncomfortable decisions.

It really doesn't matter anymore why the NHS was understaffed before or the fibs told about the Nightingales  - it's what we do now that matters.

Very true, but in part due to the above the truth is that right now we have very few options and none of them good as far as the hospitals are concerned.

The only thing I can see that the Government could do that would have a moderately quick impact (apart from a proper short lockdown which they're clearly not going to do) would be to do what they've been told to do for months by virtually everyone - scrap Serco et al and hand test, trace and track over to local public health bodies with some real funding - unfortunately they've made it very clear they're not going to do that either.

Edited by Creative Midfielder

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1 hour ago, Yellow Fever said:

I can agree - and as per WBB I don't think anybody's concerns with the government and Johnson in particular are traditional politics. I'm basically centre left  - but agree with some sort of poll tax - go figure - and don't like handouts for the work shy or those that don't try or just 'expect'.  Those that do need help or fall on hard times as anybody could get it with compassion not penny pinching though.  

For this government its all about incompetence or wishful thinking - You can almost guarantee whatever decision they make it will be the wrong one, the numbers spun or lied. From my American days they couldn't give away dollar bills in Times Square. They have dug such a hole they can't tell fact from fiction. 

He seems to have more and more attacks on him everyday and that is completely wrecking the public trust in anything he is saying. NI, Wales and Scotland taking different routes, Scientists going public with their dire predictions ( I am not saying the predictions are correct ), arguing in public with people like Burnham ( If he believed Manchester needed to be locked down if it was Sturgeon ( who I used to have little time for ) there wouldn’t have been negotiating ). I now see Spector is seriously questioning the official figures as playing down the situation. Care homes were given advice, which was completely ignored ( luckily ) by the care homes and they locked down and in this wave they are becoming the success story, however relatives are of course demanding an explanation as to why they can’t see their relatives. A proper leader would have crossed that hurdle 2 months ago.

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4 minutes ago, Creative Midfielder said:

Very true, but in part due to the above the truth is that right now we have very few options and none of them good as far as the hospitals are concerned.

The only thing I can see that the Government could do that would have a moderately quick impact (apart from a proper short lockdown which they're clearly not going to do) would be to do what they've been told to do for months by virtually everyone - scrap Serco et al and hand test, trace and track over to local public health bodies with some real funding - unfortunately they've made it very clear they're not going to do that either.

Personal opinion but if ( I stress if ) the virus continues on its rampage and spreads South, by Christmas we will be in a complete mess.

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15 minutes ago, Creative Midfielder said:

I think all that is right but the issue, I suspect, with trying to redistribute staff from other areas of the NHS is firstly that the NHS nationally is massively short of both nurses and doctors so even in areas with lower infection rates hospitals are likely to be understaffed already.

The other significant problem is that certainly for nurses, if not doctors, there are some very specific skills\training required for nursing Covid patients (use of ventilators being one of several) and these skills are not that common amongst nurses generally unless they have worked in A&E or Respiratory and even then not always - I guess quite a lot must have had training in recent months but what I can say for sure is that in our area we are having real problems on Covid wards because not omly are there insufficient numbers available to staff Covid wards properly (i.e. to run safely) but even within those numbers they are including nurses in the rota who don't have the skills required and so are effectively passengers.

The senior hospital management are well aware that these wards are runing unsafely yet still they are trying to cram more patients in (under instruction from the top I believe - threatened with financial penalties by the Government if they don't continue to deliver non-Corvid care targets, would you believe??). But still no sign of the Nightingale kicking in.

It is important that we always remember these wonderful people and as a nation always ensure NONE of the blame is ever laid at their doorsteps.

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I'm starting to believe that Labour are getting a better grip on strategy than the government. I'm pleased Sunak has changed his tack on tier 2. But Labour called for economic support to be brought in alongside the tiers when were introduced. Yet they met with deaf ears. Roll on two weeks and an outcry from Manchester (& Sheffield/South Yorkshire who've termed the tier 3 negotiations "tawdry") and we see the latest knee jerk response.

On the plus side, better late than never. 

Edited by sonyc
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9 minutes ago, Well b back said:

He seems to have more and more attacks on him everyday and that is completely wrecking the public trust in anything he is saying. NI, Wales and Scotland taking different routes, Scientists going public with their dire predictions ( I am not saying the predictions are correct ), arguing in public with people like Burnham ( If he believed Manchester needed to be locked down if it was Sturgeon ( who I used to have little time for ) there wouldn’t have been negotiating ). I now see Spector is seriously questioning the official figures as playing down the situation. Care homes were given advice, which was completely ignored ( luckily ) by the care homes and they locked down and in this wave they are becoming the success story, however relatives are of course demanding an explanation as to why they can’t see their relatives. A proper leader would have crossed that hurdle 2 months ago.

Frankly he's simply, completely and utterly out of his depth surrounded by floozies. Cummings wanted more 'science' based advisors and indeed managers last year - and then they wonder why anybody with any scientific background runs a mile from this bunch! 

As in any large successful business with decisive leaders there is moment to cut your losses and act for the greater good. It doesn't make you popular but it's right. 

In that nobody saw this coming I have some sympathy for him - but we now need effective leaders. Oh for Merkel.

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Just now, sonyc said:

You're Manchester based aren't you Aggy? So you have a view on the Tier 3 arguments recently? Manchester certainly in the news a lot of late.

Yep.

I think tier three (in current form) is pretty pointless and will cause more damage than good, but I also think it has recently been overplayed economically. I can’t get too excited about tier 3 vs 2 if I’m honest. Especially as tier 2 is “looser” than what GM has been in for months anyway - 3 is closer to what we’re used to over here (as I expect is the case where you are).

The difference between tier 2 and 3 is going to make a tiny difference to rates of infection. I mean what difference is closing pubs that don’t serve food but keeping everything else open going to make? Hospitality in total is supposed to account for no more than about 4 per cent of infections and this is a small proportion of the hospitality sector. There will be thousands of people out of jobs though as a result, so I do sort of wonder what the point is. That said, the large majority of businesses even in the hospitality sector can remain open in tier 3 so it isn’t the economic disaster some are making out (not that that helps those who are out of a job).

The recent arguing from Burnham et al seems to me to be as much as anything a point of principle and getting ready for the future. If we are going to shut things down again forcibly, the “replacement furlough” scheme needs to be reviewed. It means people get paid less and because of how it is structured, it also means businesses have less incentive  to keep two people on each getting some support via furlough than they are to keep one and let the other go. Politicians in GM (not just burnham but Tories as well) reckoned they needed the equivalent of the old furlough scheme to support people and the government haven’t given that. It’s quite clear that lockdowns, restrictions and circuit breaks have heath impacts, many of which would be made significantly better with proper financial support.

 

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4 minutes ago, sonyc said:

I'm starting to believe that Labour are getting a better grip on strategy than the government. I'm pleased Sunak has changed his tack on tier 2. But Labour called for economic support to be brought in alongside the tiers when were introduced. Yet they met with deaf ears. Roll on two weeks and an outcry from Manchester (& Sheffield/South Yorkshire who've termed the tier 3 negotiations "tawdry") and we see the latest knee jerk response.

On the plus side, better late than never. 

Yep

After gyms were considered where the virus spread most ( I no longer no if that’s true or not ) they now ( after the arguments in Lancs v Liverpool ) are perfectly safe. Another U-Turn another confusing message.

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