A ‘continuous tsunami’ of ill patients

Every hospital bed in the UK needs to be utilised during this unprecedented national emergency and Mildmay Hospital is doing everything it can to ease the burden on overstressed NHS hospitals.

Mildmay is rapidly gearing up to take on early step-down care for patients with acute HIV-related conditions. In addition, it will care for both HIV and homeless COVID-19 patients that are recovering and no longer infectious. Whilst we are still working out the details it’s clear that this will release beds in acute hospitals much more quickly.

NHS hospitals in London are seeing a ‘continuous tsunami’ of ill patients, says Chris Hopson, Chief Executive of NHS Providers. They are trying to deal with a lot more demand than they have ever had before with a lot fewer staff than before.

Hopson said that, while extra capacity was being brought in – including 4,000 beds at the ExCeL centre in London’s Docklands – hospital chief executives are concerned that it will be used up “very, very quickly”.

Mildmay’s Chief Executive, Geoff Coleman, like many other NHS CEOs has been reassured by NHS England that the funding will be made available, enabling Mildmay to play its part during the COVID-19 crisis. Because the demand for beds is so urgent, Mildmay and other organisations involved are side-stepping normal procedures and admitting patients before their funding agreements are in place, aiming to resolve the funding down the line.

Mildmay, London’s only specialist HIV hospital, made famous by Diana, Princess of Wales, is still under threat of closure due to severe cuts to its NHS funding. As a charity providing NHS services, and not an NHS Trust, when it runs out of money, it will simply have to close.

The Hospital’s #SaveMildmay campaign, which has received worldwide coverage, has over 60,000 signatories on its petition to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, asking for Mildmay’s unique services to be commissioned directly by NHS England like other specialist services already are, securing its future beyond the current crisis.

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