Coronavirus: NHS hospital declares ‘critical incident’ after running out of beds
A London hospital has declared a “critical incident” after running out of ICU beds due to an influx of coronavirus cases.
Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow declared the incident on Friday in a message to staff.
The facility no longer has any “critical care capacity left” and has “contacted neighbouring hospital about transferring patients.”
Six of the UK’s 183 coronavirus-related deaths were registered at Northwick Park Hospital.
In a message, seen by Health Service Journal (HSJ), Northwick Park officials said: "I am writing to let you know that we have this evening declared a critical incident in relation to our critical care capacity at Northwick Park Hospital.
"This is due to an increasing number of patients with Covid-19."
It added: "This means that we currently do not have enough space for patients requiring critical care.
"As part of our system resilience plans, we have contacted our partners in the North West London sector this evening to assist with the safe transfer of patients off of the Northwick Park site.
"As part of our system resilience plans, we have contacted our partners in the North West London sector this evening to assist with the safe transfer of patients off of the Northwick Park site."
A senior director of a different trust told Sky News outer London was being hit hardest by bed shortages.
He said: "The trusts in outer London seem to be hit much worse at the moment, probably about two weeks ahead of the rest of the country’ the source told HSJ, citing Barnet, Lewisham and Greenwich, Epsom and St Helier, North Middlesex and Hillingdon as struggling areas.
"‘Given we’re in the low foothills of this virus, this is f***ing petrifying.
"The thing people aren’t really talking about yet is that we are going to have to quickly agree some clinical thresholds for admissions to intensive care.
"This is what the Italians have had to do."
Italy has since taken over China as the country with the most coronavirus-related deaths in the world, registering 3,405 dead.
Doctors and nurses warned the UK last week of the catastrophic scale of the health crisis and the impact it could have on the country’s health service.
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