NHS ‘fighting on multiple fronts’ amid 41% jump in Covid patients in England needing ventilators, health worker group warns 

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The number of Covid-19 patients requiring ventilator treatment has increased 41% in a week in England and the National Health Service (NHS) remains “under huge pressure,” according to the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers.

Saffron Cordery of NHS Providers, which represents the health service Trusts, has expressed concern over the recent influx of patients requiring ventilation, saying the rate has increased 41% in the last week in England. 

Government figures show there were 250 Covid patients on mechanical ventilation beds across UK hospitals on June 22 – up from 136 on June 1.

Speaking to the BBC’s Breakfast programme, Cordery said the NHS Trusts continue to feel the strain of the pandemic and other urgent treatments keep being delayed. “They have plans in place to tackle the backlog, but with more Covid cases and demand for emergency care going up, that’s really challenging,” she told the broadcaster.

At the end of February, it was estimated by NHS England that a total of 4.7 million people were waiting for treatments that had been cancelled or postponed by the health service due to the pandemic.

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A survey published on Wednesday by NHS Providers further echoed Cordery’s concerns, highlighting what the organisation called “challenges on multiple fronts” for health workers due to the ongoing pandemic. The survey found that 88% of NHS Trust leaders worried that a surge in Covid cases could place further pressures on already-strained services, with 89% worried this extra pressure would come during the winter months.

UK government data showed that, as of June 20, there are 1,378 Covid patients in UK hospitals. During the first wave of the pandemic, a peak of some 22,000 Covid patients were hospitalized around the UK, while that figure skyrocketed to a new high of 40,000 in January 2021 during the second wave.

Recent data from an Imperial College London REACT study suggests that the younger groups, children between 5-12 as well adults aged 18-24, are the age groups in which infection is currently most prevalent.

The Delta variant has propelled the recent spike in the UK’s Covid cases, with around 10,140 cases registered each day, according to Reuters. However, the pacey vaccination campaign has helped tackle any corresponding leap in hospitalisations or deaths. Currently, over 60% of the UK population has received two vaccine doses, government figures indicate.

On Wednesday, the British government announced 16,135 new cases, the highest one-day UK total since early February. 

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