Doctors Will Be Forced To Decide: The UK declares ‘disaster medicine mode’

(Addendum below.)

The UK medical system has reached the breaking point where doctors can no longer care for all their patients.  I have no insider knowledge, but I suspect “disaster medicine mode” is similar to what happens in war zones and disasters.   Doctors will be forced to decide who lives and dies based on a predetermined list of criteria, reserving care for those easiest to save.

Imagine how much worse it would be if the tories had gotten their way and privatized all health services.

London NHS hospital in ‘disaster medicine mode’ and ‘can’t provide high standard care’

Royal London Hospital is in “disaster medicine mode” and unable to provide “high standard critical care” as the number of people suffering from Covid-19 continues to soar.

The news comes just days after it was reported that emergency vehicles had been forced to line up outside the the hospital in Whitechapel on Tuesday.

NHS chiefs at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel have emailed staff admitting they are so overwhelmed with cases “we are no longer providing high standard critical care, because we cannot”.

[. . .]

A tweet shared by Dr Julia Grace Patterson, Founder and Chief Executive of EveryDoctorUK said that the hospital managers had sent an email to staff warning of the “disaster mode” the hospital had entered. She added that the content of this email was “shocking.”

Hospitals are now so short of staff that they may need volunteers.  Or worse, if a state of emergency is declared, people may be conscripted into working at hospitals.

Recruit the military and cops to do it, not civilians.  They’re getting paid and allegedly “defend the country”.  Don’t force civilians to work under threat of force as slave labour, as was done for the “diamond jubilee” in 2012.

Hospitals make desperate plea for staff as new coronavirus strain spreads ‘like wildfire’

The new coronavirus variant is “spreading like wildfire” in the northwest of England as cases continue to rise across the country, piling further pressure on the struggling NHS.

The more infectious strain was responsible for the dramatic increase in positive cases across the southeast in the weeks before Christmas. Now it has been identified in a spike in Cumbria, according to Public Health England.

[. . .]

This is thought to be behind the surge in infections across the southeast and London which has crippled hospitals and forced the cancellation of thousands of operations.

Nationally, Thursday was another record day for infections with 55,892 cases reported in 24 hours with 964 deaths.

London hospitals are racing to open up more beds with children’s wards, operating theatres and clinic rooms being transformed into bed spaces.

I have several friends in the UK.  Thankfully two are in Shrewsbury (a couple who just had their first child), which is one of the least hit areas.  But another lives in London; she may be in her twenties, but that doesn’t make her immune.  Another is currently hunkered down in Germany (working legally before brexit came into effect), but her family are also from the London area.

A pharmacist in Wisconsin is under arrest for INTENTIONALLY leaving 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine at room temperature and spoiling them.  He did it TWICE.  That could mean as many as 500 more deaths that were preventable.

A life sentence is barely sufficient for someone like that.

Wisconsin police arrest hospital worker suspected of intentionally spoiling Covid vaccine doses

Police in Wisconsin said on Thursday evening that they had arrested a hospital employee who was fired after being suspected of intentionally spoiling hundreds of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Law enforcement and federal authorities in the US had already been investigating after a health center in the state said an employee admitted to deliberately spoiling 500 doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Aurora medical center, in Grafton, first reported that the doses of the Moderna vaccine had been spoiled on Saturday, saying a staff member had accidentally left them out of refrigeration overnight.

On Wednesday, however, it said the doses appeared to have been spoiled deliberately.

Another addendum, from the US:

Covid 19 coronavirus: Los Angeles calls in National Guard to remove bodies of virus victims

America’s coronavirus crisis has reached a new low, with its second-biggest city so overrun with cases that patients are dying in hospital hallways, with morgues now overflowing.

The situation has grown so dire in Los Angeles – a sprawling city with a population of nearly four million – that the National Guard has been called in to move bodies into storage at the LA County Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner.

According to the LA Times, which has published a detailed investigation into the disaster facing the city’s health system, hospitals are now so overwhelmed medics are being forced to choose which patients will receive vital care, with Los Angeles County reaching 10,000 coronavirus deaths this week and many healthcare workers also contracting the illness.

The LA Public Health agency is so concerned about the worsening disaster it has launched a Twitter campaign warning that “every 10 minutes someone dies of Covid-19 in LA County”, urging people to do their bit to help stop the spread as the city emerges as the new epicentre of the virus in the US.

Where is says 10,000 deaths, I suspect that means in total, not during a seven day period.  But given that’s in just one country, it’s appalling.


  1. cartomancer says

    Well, it’s not quite the whole “UK medical system”. It’s one London hospital (though the others in London are at pretty high capacity) and some hospitals in the northeast. Much as Londoners would have you believe otherwise, there’s quite a lot more UK than just the capital.

    Fortunately we did actually make preparations for this eventuality back in March, by converting several sports arenas and large venues into overflow “Nightingale Hospitals” with many thousands of additional beds. We didn’t actually need them back then, but I’m glad we have them now.

  2. Jazzlet says

    cartomancer we may have the physical beds, but what use are they if there aren’t enough appropriately trained staff? Which there aren’t, there are just not enough staff trained in eg caring for patients with repiratory problems to mention one of the most needed specialisms as far as the epidemic goes to staff the Nightingales..

    It gets worse though, the Chiefs of Health for the four countries have decided that instead of giving all the people who have had a first dose of vaccine the second dose three weeks later, as planned and as the schedule Pfizer (you remember them, only the manufacturer) produced advises, they want GPs to phone all of those people and cancel their three week appointments, then phone a whole bunch more people to make first appointments. Because apparently it will be better to have a more people partially protected (they reckon 70%), but of course they couldn’t have taken that decision before GP’s started vaccinating people, that would have been competant if they really thought going against the only expert advice there is as yet was a good idea. They are expecting people to spend twelve weeks partially protected, I haven’t seen any scientific justification for this, and if the initial protection wanes too fast or is very low to start with (more likely to happen in the elderly who are being vaccinated now) they’ll need to start again, but they haven’t said they’ll be taking titres so they won’t know if people need to start again. And that’s not taking into account the amount of time it’s going to take to ring up all of the people concerned, which one GP reckoned could take nearly 200 hours of their clerical staff’s time, because of course the Government isn’t offering any help with all of that. Johnson and co are an utter $#/+ storm, no use to anyone except their rich buddies who get our money for not providing PPE or test and trace.

    • says

      Excuse the edits. Stevor rewrote his own to remove profanities on another before I ever saw it, plus his was old about thirty words. Yours is 200-300, too much to ask you to redo.

      Splitting prescribed medicine is not a good idea. I can’t find an article to cite, but I remember reading how the poor in some African countries could only afford HIV or other medications for some of their kids, not all. So they split it up and hope to protect all their kids, but end up saving none because partial doses were ineffective.

      • Jazzlet says

        Sorry, I am very angry about the state of the NHS as well as the splitting of the vaccinaion, and had not long read about the latter when I wrote that reply.

    • jrkrideau says

      Here in Ontario the head of Ontario’s vaccine distribution effort has just made the same suggestion to the Federal Gov’t. I am sure retired Canadian Forces General Rick Hillier is a good source of medical advice, maybe up there with BoJo.

  3. blf says

    Fortunately, in the US, Dr Fauci has ruled out that (probable-)nonsense, Dr Anthony Fauci says US will not delay second doses of Covid vaccine:

    On Friday, Dr Fauci told CNN that the United States would not be following in the UK’s footsteps and would follow Pfizer and BioNTech’s guidance to administer the second dose of its vaccine three weeks after the first.


    Pfizer and BioNTech also warned that the two doses were crucial to achieving maximum protection against Covid, saying that they did not have evidence that the first dose alone would protect patients after three weeks.


    I have no idea if this (very probably very) stooopid idea of delaying the second dose has gained any traction here in France or elsewhere in the EU. Here in France the vaccination programme got off to an exceptionally poor start — something like only 200 (that’s not a typo, two hundred) people in the first three (3) days — allegedly because the Government was pandering to extensive vaccination hesitancy. France is perhaps the most vaccination-hesitant country in all of Europe (and, very possibly, in the so-called developed world); e.g., a recent survey showed only c.40% of the population said they would get the Covid-19 vaccine! My current vague understanding is there has now been a change of tack, albeit I still have not seen any details whatsoever (either about getting vaccinated, or to counter the exceptionally high level of vaccination hesitancy).