NHS ready for swine flu surge
The NHS is preparing to deal with an expected surge in swine flu cases this winter by doubling its intensive care capacity.
All 10 regions of the NHS in England have confirmed they will be able to increase the number of severely ill adults and children requiring ventilation that they can treat, from 2,000 to more than 4,000.
The latest figures show a continuing decline in swine flu in England with an estimated 3,000 cases last week, the lowest level since the disease peaked in July.
But early signs of any upturn in the US and Scotland are being watched closely, said Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer. "I think we are tantalisingly close to being able to win the battle against this pandemic," he said.
Swine flu has proved mild in most cases around the world, but severe or life-threatening in a small minority of people. Experience from the southern hemisphere shows the biggest pressure on health systems has been on intensive care.
Ian Dalton, national director of pandemic flu resilience, said the plans included purchasing additional ventilators, training staff in critical care and temporarily postponing routine surgery. "If we get a surge [in swine flu cases] we will be in difficult clinical waters, like every other country," he said.
The Tories published figures last week showing that 3,000 people had to be discharged early from intensive care or transferred to other hospitals to find a bed last year.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Ukip's official health spokesperson: 'Honestly, I have no experience in health whatsoever'
Deliberately urinating before sex can increase risk of urinary tract infections
Doctors to trial 29-point checklist for elderly patients facing 'unavoidable' death
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...