Reply To: SARS cov2 and Covid 19

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Yes I am of course aware that bed occupancy and numbers were affected by the increased use of keyhole surgery and other procedures, but as you point out this has gone beyond this and has increased the occupancy rate and reduced ability to absorb unusual pressures even though some of these are predicted, such as the winter pressures. But number of beds is not the whole story. I am sorry I haven’t got figures but the recruitment of permanent nursing staff of special expertise mix has also drastically suffered. Not only is there a large vacancy pool in most hospitals due to shortage of nurses, but the flexibility required to facilitate profitability of the NHS prior to privatization also extended to the expansion of agency nursing pools which are now a feature of the NHS which increase the cost and also has its own problems of team discontinuity, skill mix and availability.