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High bed occupancy before coronavirus

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Onkar Sahota Onkar Sahota Labour

What discussions have you had with the NHS about reducing bed occupancy, which is above safe levels in many hospitals, in readiness for a potential influx of coronavirus patients?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

This is a very fast moving emergency situation, so please note that this response was based on the developments and advice given at the time.

Through the resilience arrangements in place to respond to COVID-19 my Deputy Mayor for Fire and Resilience, Dr Fiona Twycross AM, who is one of three co-chairs of the Strategic Coordinating Group, is in daily discussion with both the NHS and Public Health England (PHE). Through the robust resilience arrangements we have in London we receive a daily briefing from the NHS about their response to COVID-19.

As part of our response structures, a dedicated Health Oversight sub-group has been established, led by the NHS. The group includes PHE, Local Authority Directors of Social Care and the voluntary sector. Part of the work of this group is to maximise the discharge of patients and enable capacity within specialist units for the response to COVID-19. The NHS have also briefed on their plans to further increase capacity within their wards to provide the best possible response to the outbreak.