Healthcare Infrastructure - The Challenges
Bulletin 14 | Nicola Oliver
We are reliant upon healthcare capacity to reduce the severity of this pandemic in terms of morbidity and mortality.
One of the key challenges will be how a health system copes in times of increased demand. This is contingent upon:
1. Existing capacity – beds, staff, other resources
2. Ability to create extra capacity – repurposing of hospital space and re-allocating staff
Ratios of healthcare staff to patients in the UK are much lower than many other countries therefore the ability to deal with a surge in demand is much lower.
The UK has fewer ICU and general acute beds per 100,000 population compared to other
countries, and bed occupancy rates are high. Currently acute general beds are running at up to 92% occupancy in some hospital trusts and ICU at around 83%.