Concerns raised over the NHS’s ability to cope with outbreak of coronavirus

With mounting concern over a potential coronavirus pandemic, medical experts have warned there is “little in the tank” to cope with an outbreak in the UK.

A BBC report based on figures from the NHS has shown the shocking fact that in England, during December and January, nearly a quarter of patients awaiting admittance to a ward, had to wait for four hours or more before a bed was found for them. This led to seriously ill patients waiting on trolleys in corridors, along with delays for patients being admitted to A&E by ambulance as their patients could not be admitted.

The Royal College of Nursing has found that vital treatment is being carried out in corridors due to their being no other option. This includes treatments such as administering oxygen and inserting drips which is unacceptable due to the risk of infection, as well as the patients suffering the indignity of receiving treatment in a public area.

The coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak has occurred at one of the most challenging times the NHS has seen. This winter has seen the A&E 4 hour waiting time target breached by a record margin.

You can check the performance of your local A&E departments with our NHS Tracker.

So far there have been 13 cases of coronavirus in the UK, but all patients have been infected outside the UK. While this remains the case, there should be no pressure on the UK health services.

In fact, even with the relatively long incubation period of the virus, the UK have acted swiftly to ensure people that have come into contact with anyone infected, are traced and are themselves, subsequently tested for symptoms the virus. However, should we find ourselves with ever increasing cases, and the virus being transferred person to person within the UK, the NHS may find itself put under overwhelming pressure

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