'London's NHS is at breaking point' ICU doctor tells LBC

8 January 2021, 18:14

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

This intensive care doctor sets out the shocking situation in London's hospitals as he tells the public not to clap for NHS staff, just to stick to the rules.

Amid a national conversation over the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the NHS one intensive care doctor called LBC's Eddie Mair.

Tim from London opened the exchange by telling LBC it was "tough" at the moment.

Recounting his experience just yesterday in one Central London hospital the doctor said the term "breaking point" is a "very apt description for what's going on in London."

Giving context he said the hospital he was working at yesterday normally deals with 30 intubated patients at any one time.

Read more: Harrowing call sets out the NHS crisis in London through the eyes of one LBC listener

Just 24 hours ago the same hospital was dealing with 90 with two more ICU wards having to be opened to deal with the patient numbers.

Read more: London Mayor Sadiq Khan declares 'major incident' due to Covid spread

The ICU doctor told LBC the NHS was at breaking point
The ICU doctor told LBC the NHS was at breaking point. Picture: PA

Eddie asked how the staff were managing to deal with so many extra patients, which led to Dr Tim telling LBC staff were being stretched.

He said there was normally a 1:1 nurse to patient ration, but at the moment that was stretched to 1:3.

When Eddie asked the ICU doctor what they need the answer was "more ICU nurses."

He said more staff were needed across the board to help those patients who were hospitalised with Covid.

He said all they could do was rely on people social distancing, "and ultimately the vaccine."

Read more: London's Nightingale to open in 'coming days', Sadiq Khan tells LBC

Dr Tim told LBC he wasn't trying to make a political point that Covid is a "dreadful time" for the NHS in London and the service is "struggling."

"I implore people to stick to the social distancing, wearing a mask and also get the vaccine when that comes out."

Read more: NHS staff at London hospital speak of exhaustion in rare ward footage

The intensive care doctor said they were dealing with three times as many patients as normal
The intensive care doctor said they were dealing with three times as many patients as normal. Picture: PA

He ended by saying "don't clap for us, we're not bothered about the clapping, just make sure you support the NHS by supporting the Government policies that support us in the long term."

"Just know that we really are trying our best for you."

Watch the whole insightful call in the video at the top of the page.