Doctors ‘pushed to the brink’ as coronavirus pressures spread to hospitals beyond London
58 percent of doctors are now suffering from some form of anxiety or depression, according to a British Medical Association survey
By Dean KirbyJanuary 1, 2021 3:16 pm
Pressure on hospitals beyond London is increasing as they begin to battle the new coronavirus strain, with doctors warning they are exhausted and being “pushed to the brink”.
Dr Alison Pittard, dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, said she feared the added pressures being seen at London hospitals in dealing with the volume of coronavirus patients had started to spread across the country.
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Asked whether the problems were becoming more “widespread”, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “That’s what appears to be happening.
“Everyone has seen what is happening in London and the pressure that is putting both on organisations and on staff as well, and we fear it is only a matter of time before it starts to spread to other parts of the country, and we are already starting to see that.”
‘Disaster medicine mode’
It comes after it was reported that the Royal London Hospital is in “disaster medicine mode” and unable to provide “high standard critical care” because it is understaffed and swamped by Covid-19 patients.
A survey by the British Medical Association of doctors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has found that 58 percent are now suffering from some form of anxiety or depression, with 46 percent saying their condition has worsened since the pandemic began.
BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul issued a stark warning that the NHS needs more resources and staff if it is to remain fit for purpose and vaccinate the public effectively.
“The months ahead will be as challenging, if not more so, as when the virus first peaked in April,” he said.
Mental health deteriorating
“We know from our tracker surveys that over four in ten doctors’ mental health has deteriorated during the pandemic, with many exhausted from working flat out without taking adequate leave for over ten months.”
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has warned that at least a quarter of new cases have been found to be of the new strain, but the true figure is “probably higher”.
Retired NHS workers are to be called up to deliver coronavirus jabs in the region amid concerns a staffing shortage could cause delays in rolling out the vaccine.
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