The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.
- Today’s Alan Partridge/Matt Hancock comparison: Cowper’s Cut
- Today’s deadline: GPs and community services given two weeks to support care homes
It is, of course, good news that the NHS is in a position to mothball the flagship Nightingale Hospital in London.
That there were fewer hospitalisations than feared and fewer beds needed is to be celebrated.
Indeed, the success of the capital’s acute trusts in expanding capacity is laudable and we were not overwhelmed like the Italian hospitals.
But even so, the number of deaths in the capital is sobering. Considering London sustainability and transformation partnerships had two of the top three rankings for excess care home deaths, did the efficiency in treating and discharging people lead to more deaths in the community?
Some have asked whether the Nightingale should have been used as a step-down facility for people to recover or as a facility for patients who might have had covid and were risky to send back to an ill-equipped care facility.
Either way, the Excel Centre will be retained for a second spike in admissions. This will be much harder to deal with if hospitals have re-opened their theatres. Hopefully it will not be needed.
Caught in a PPE dilemma
PPE problems continue across the country, with senior procurement staff reporting they have received unusable, substandard face masks from national stocks over the weekend.
The news is particularly concerning as national leaders on Friday told trusts not to bulk buy their own protective equipment any more, to prevent adding more competition to an already incredibly competitive market.
The (perhaps not entirely surprising) news that central stocks apparently aren’t up to scratch puts the procurement teams primarily concerned with protecting their staff in an even trickier position than usual.