Covid Marie Celestes

A reader has very kindly adapted one of Dr Mike Yeadon’s twitter threads into a stand-alone piece. The subject is the utter wrong-headedness of the SAGE advice regarding the “second wave” and the need to protect NHS hospitals from being overwhelmed. Here are the first three paragraphs:

A source just gave me the following information. A hospital in Wales, Nevill Hall in Abergavenny, has 250 beds. 200 beds are empty. The surgeons are bored and pass much time on the nearby golf course. I think this might be one answer to why UK doctors are not investigating to find out why hospitals have no patients in them! Apparently all Covid cases are currently being sent to this hospital. This story tallies with the original evidence which drew me into this ghastly mess we’ve made of our country. I’ve not mentioned this for quite a while but you all should be incandescent about it.

A good friend who’s a Professor of Cell Biology was playing hockey many miles from home. He fell into conversation with one of the opposing team. This person is a fairly senior manger in NHS England and has daily sight of bed disposition across the service. He was upset to have realised that, as intensive care beds emptied because the many COVID-19 patients either recovered or sadly died, they were not being replaced by elective surgical patients. To the best of my recollection, this was late June. I was put in touch with the NHSE staffer by my friend, because he knew I was, by then, telling him all the time that “something is seriously wrong”. I met up with the NHSE manager who, by good fortune, lives less than 10 miles from me. He told me that the utilisation of the ICU beds was at a far lower % than ever in his whole career. Worse, he told me the reason, showing me part of a management briefing he’d recently attended. To my surprise, in the section entitled “NHS Priorities”, the top one wasn’t what I expected to see – to get the NHS back to normal service ASAP. No, that was there, but it was second.

The top priority was entirely contradictory to the second and essentially said “Run the NHS as lightly loaded as possible in order to be prepared to cope with the second wave”. Just so we’re clear, it’s not an accident that it’s hard to get access to the NHS at present. No, it’s a strategic choice: they’re not seeing you, doing fewer elective surgeries, to protect the NHS. Kafka would probably have rejected this as a plot line on grounds that it’s absurd. While there has recently need an increase in utilisation of ITU beds, I don’t know about you, but to me it’s completely unacceptable that someone’s decided it’s ok not to replace your heart valve and certain other elective surgeries. Why? To cope with an expected “second wave”.

We’ve given it pride of place on the right-hand side in the section entitled: “How Many Non-Covid Patients Are Being Neglected?”

Worth reading in full.