Hospitals in Birmingham Already at ‘Tipping Point’ and Turning Patients Away

Hospitals in Birmingham have drawn up an emergency action plan as the impact of rising coronavirus starts to threaten other services.

University Hospitals Birmingham operations director Jonathan Brotherton had a stark message for politicians as doors begin to close on key hospitals in the Midlands. “We are at a tipping point. The next few weeks are going to be very challenging,” he said.

University Hospitals Birmingham is to act ‘within days’ to protect critical services, including turning away anyone who arrives at A&E who does not need urgent hospital care. All elective operations and outpatient services are also under review.

More than 200 patients with coronavirus are currently occupying beds in The Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals, with more arriving daily, which is about a tenth of the total bed capacity. Around 27 are in intensive care, with the number increasing – that’s around a quarter of all ICU beds.

The impact is being felt across every other service area – and Mr Brotherton had this stark message for politicians: “It is obvious what we need to do…as the rate keeps going up it seems inevitable we are going to have to lock down far more than we currently are.”

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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