There follows a guest post by our in-house doctor, a former senior NHS medic, who says the latest ‘perfect storm’ causing pressure on the health service in parts of the country is more a self-induced squall.
In the middle of last week, several NHS Trusts issued warnings about the acute strain their services were under. The South Central Ambulance Service went so far as to declare a critical incident – normally reserved for a situation in which demands on the service exceed the capacity to manage those demands. I was surprised that so many NHS bodies spread over a wide geographical area issued public warnings about their failure to cope at the same time. Statements referred to high demand on services (hardly news) and lacked any specific detail about critical capacity constraints. Accordingly, the Daily Sceptic asked me to interrogate the available data to work out the extent to which a Covid resurgence might be responsible for the latest ‘perfect storm’ to hit the NHS.
Graph 1 shows daily admissions of Covid positive patients from the community. Admissions have risen in the last few weeks, but seem to be tailing off. Data from Graph 1 have been the subject of hysterical articles in the mainstream press implying the latest Omicron BA.2 subvariant may be triggering a new wave of acute Covid infections. It’s not sensible to interpret Graph 1 as a stand-alone figure without considering contextual information from other datasets.