‘Manchester could soon run out of intensive care beds’

Greater Manchester could soon run out of intensive care beds, a BMA committee chair has warned.

It comes after a leaked report revealed three hospitals in the area have already reached capacity. 

Dr Indy Kapila, an intensive care consultant, and chair of the North West Regional Consultants Committee of the British Medical Association, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that the Greater Manchester area has around 270 ICU beds in total.

On Friday admissions had increased by around 90 to 100 patients, he said.

“We do still have capacity currently but given the infection rates in Manchester, we have about 440 cases per 100,000, which is extremely high, we are very concerned that we may reach a situation very soon where intensive care beds will run out,” he added.

According to a leaked NHS document, seen by The Guardian, hospitals in Salford, Stockport and Bolton had already reached maximum capacity by Friday. 

Data from the Greater Manchester Critical Care Network (GMCCN) also suggests some of the region’s 12 hospitals are experiencing significant demand.. 

The figures from Friday showed Stepping Hill Hospital and the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust were operating at full capacity, while the Royal Bolton Hospital was running at 94 per cent capacity.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News he was “hopeful” a deal would be reached between Greater Manchester leaders and central government over additional restrictions. 

“More importantly, the number of cases is rising and the pressure on some of the hospitals in Greater Manchester is there for all to see,” he said.

“So, I think further measures and action now is important.”

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