Second lockdown is 'almost inevitable' - senior doctor says

21 September 2020, 07:46 | Updated: 21 September 2020, 10:58

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The President of the Hospital Consultant Specialist Association has told LBC a second lockdown was "almost inevitable".

Dr Claudia Paoloni a Consultant Anaesthetist and President of the Hospital Consultant Specialist Association was speaking to LBC hours ahead of a press conference by Professor Chris Whitty who will address the nation this morning alongside the government's chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance - following a rise in infections.

Dr Paoloni said based on the current "course and path of the way the virus is being transmitted" a second national lockdown was "almost inevitable".

When Nick asked the doctor how effective a two-week 'circuit breaker' lockdown would be, Dr Paoloni said it would help slow the transmission rate down, however, she said she did not know how effective it would be.

Warning listeners the country was going into "winter crisis" revealing during "normal winters we don't have enough hospital capacity for what we have to manage normally."

She said for every bed that is taken up by a Covid patient then it would be "one bed less for someone who needs their cancer treatment, for someone who needs to have their heart sorted out, someone who needs a gallbladder."

The doctor said it was "up to everybody to make sure that we keep that capacity free for the people who need the operations and need the normal medical care."

When Nick asked if the Nightingales would help, Dr Paoloni said they would, but asked: "Where are we going to get the staff?"

Adding the use of the Nightingale hospitals would put pressure on staffing.

England's chief medical officer says the UK is 'heading in the wrong direction' and we've reached a 'critical point' in the coronavirus outbreak.