Increase NHS Covid bed capacity to help businesses and people get back to work.

The Scottish Government is stating businesses will need to change the way they work, and be required to operate under strict safe working guidance. This is undoubtedly true but a return to a more normal economy, and jobs again for our population, could also be accelerated if our NHS capacity could be increased in case a return to work, however well managed, does lead to an increase in Covid cases. The Scot Gov Covid framework document rightly places much emphasis on the “R” number and the need to get this low and keep it low. But it also concedes there are many difficult trade-offs to consider when dealing with Covid and it implies there is a balance to be struck between the death rate and the economic and social impacts. Complacency could spell disaster. Nevertheless, the news presently is that we are passed the peak and there is spare capacity in hospitals (we have the capacity to cope). The framework document states the NHS Scotland Covid bed capacity is currently 4,250. I suggest any future update document also states the occupancy rate. However, my principal suggestion is that some means should be found to further increase NHS Covid bed capacity, along with the support infrastructure associated with each bed, in order that we could accommodate a higher R number, should this be necessary. This would tilt the balance a little more in favour of the economy, by allowing more people to get back to work, because we could accommodate a higher risk of “R” increasing slightly. Presently neither of the Scot Gov framework documents mention increasing Covid bed capacity. It appears this side of the "R" equation is not presently under consideration.

Why the contribution is important

Because it will allow our economy and peoples jobs to get back to a new normal more quickly.

by davidwright on May 06, 2020 at 05:51PM

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Comments

  • Posted by ArchieM May 06, 2020 at 18:34

    Agree with the above and would suggest that testing and tracing is ramped up ahead of the bed capacity. With more testing you should hopefully be able to monitor areas and trends so that if require the additional beds could be freed up quickly
  • Posted by GJTorrie May 06, 2020 at 19:00

    Adding more beds does not increase capacity. To do this we need more beds, doctors, nurses, porters, cleaners, chefs, parking, hospitals. Is this practical just to allow a bar/restaurant/shop/insert private business here, to make a profit. I think not.
  • Posted by Nursewifemother May 06, 2020 at 20:16

    BEd capacity in NHS has been reduced to 40% In our area, so there is capacity and staff we can not change this yet inc as of second wave which could be much worse.
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