Oxford University Professor and general practitioner Carl Heneghan told Talk Radio this morning that the NHS has been in crisis 17 out of the last 20 Winters. Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer, Heneghan said:
“So the big problem we face as we go into the Winter is that we’ve got one of the lowest bed capacities in Europe, really quite low down, somewhere like Germany has three times as many beds as us.
So if you think we’ve only got just over 100,000 adult beds, we’ve got no flexible capacity as we go into Winter. It’s a bit like a Christmas store saying “we can’t get any jobs at Christmas and we can’t expand the number of checkouts.” We have a significant structural problem in the NHS.
We need about 20 per cent extra beds. Most of those beds could be low-tech and for the vulnerable and the elderly. But if we put 20-25 per cent of those people that take up 20-25,000 beds, suddenly the NHS is overwhelmed.
“That’s 17 out of the last 20 years that I’ve been a doctor the NHS has been in crisis in Winter. With the heightened anxiety of where we are now, it’s going to be difficult for the Prime Minister and his cabinet to not press that button to go lockdown.”
Heneghan went on to say that just as with flu, people should be trusted to take care of themselves over the Winter and decide which precautions to follow.
Boris Johnson will announce his Covid winter plan tomorrow.
Oxford Professor Carl Heneghan: "Everyone's nervous going into winter because we're seeing policies emerge that aren't common sense. We need a new Department of The Blindingly Obvious.'"@JuliaHB1 | @carlheneghan pic.twitter.com/vr5lBIjK3k
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) September 13, 2021