With the Officer for National Statistics estimating that 1 in 30 Londoners now have coronavirus, and the Mayor of London declaring a major incident across all London hospitals, the ongoing situation could not be more serious. NHS services in the capital are at risk of becoming overwhelmed in just a matter of days.
Working as a doctor in St George’s A&E department, I understand how emotionally drained healthcare workers are feeling. Indeed, ‘overwhelmed’ was the word used by nurses, consultants and registrars at our local hospital in Tooting when they were interviewed for a special report by the BBC, with one senior staff nurse saying she has “never felt so demoralised in her life.”
The report conducted by BBC London's Political Correspondent, Karl Mercer, showed the heartbreaking situation in high dependency units at St George’s. The hospital has now had to increase intensive care capacity from 60 to 120, the vast majority of which are for coronavirus patients. Wandsworth alone recorded a further 2394 cases this week – the 13th highest in London.
Whilst better times are on the horizon with the recent announcement of the approved Moderna vaccine, I can only implore residents to continue to follow latest public health advice on the virus to ensure we can protect as many lives as possible.
On behalf of all my colleagues working on the frontline, please stay at home.