Many London and South East hospitals are now effectively working in “major incident mode” as they are struggling to deal with the surge in cases.
A senior doctor has said that they are considering setting up “tents outside hospitals” to triage patients, which is normally only reserved for dealing with major incidents.
Sir Simon warned that we are now “back in the eye of the storm” and England is firmly in the second wave of the virus.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Simon Walsh who is a emergency medicine consultant said, “Today, many trusts in London and the South East are effectively operating in a major incident mode.
“They’re having crisis meetings, they’re calling on staff to come in to work if they’re able to on their days off.
“They are dealing with queues of ambulances outside many emergency departments, often with patients sat in the ambulances for many hours until they can be offloaded into the department because there simply isn’t any space to put them in.
“Hospitals are even considering setting up tents that you would see outside in an actual major incident. All emergency departments have a plan for dealing with a sudden surge of patients from a major incident.
“That often involves setting up a tent outside in which patients can be triaged and held in an area because the emergency department just doesn’t have capacity for that number of patients arriving at one time.”
Last week there was 17,700 patients, and scientists are urging Boris Johnson to bring in even tougher measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and the new stronger vairant which is more transmissible in children.
The NHS have confirmed the London Nightingale Hospital, which was created at the ExCeL exhibition centre in March, has now been placed on standby.
They said, “The Nightingale in London remains on standby and will be available to support the capital’s hospitals if needed.
“In the meantime, it is vital that Londoners do everything possible to reduce transmission and cut the number of new infections, which otherwise inevitably result in more avoidable deaths.”