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England is considering placing Covid patients in hotels as the study reveals deep trauma among intensive care staff

The news came when UK Health Minister Matt Hancock said authorities were considering introducing Covid-19 rehabilitation patients to hotels as a “back-up plan”, such as the intense pressure on hospitals since the latest outbreak.

Britain marked its second deadliest day since the pandemic began Tuesday with 1,243 coronavirus-related deaths. He also reported 45,533 new cases, bringing the total to 3,117,882.

Britain entered its third national blockade last week as it struggled to cope with the spread of a new, more contagious version of the coronavirus. The UK government and senior health officials have warned that many hospitals are on the verge of overcrowding.

At a news conference on Monday, Hancock said the option “introduces the NHS [National Health Service] under very significant pressure, “with the admission of Covid-related hospitals, it increased by 22% in the previous week alone.

The study ̵

1; which has not yet been reviewed – was published Wednesday by researchers at King’s College London. He analyzed the responses to an anonymous online survey in June and July of more than 700 doctors and nurses working in intensive care units at six different hospitals.

Although nearly 60% of respondents reported well-being, the study found that nearly half of intensive care staff reported symptoms consistent with a probable diagnosis of PTSD, severe depression or anxiety, or a drinking problem.

Almost one in seven (13.4%) of the intensive care unit staff reported frequent thoughts of a better state of death or injury in the last two weeks.

Today’s podcast Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction also addresses the mental health effects of the pandemic on health workers. Listen here.

About 45% of respondents reached the threshold for probable clinical significance in at least one of these measures: major depression (6.3%), PTSD (39.5%), severe anxiety (11.3%) or drinking problem (7). , 2%).

Researchers have found that medical staff are more likely to report higher levels of disaster than doctors or other clinical staff. Almost half of the respondents are nurses and just over 40% are doctors. Researchers have found that doctors consistently report better health than nurses.

The study, led by Neil Greenberg of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurology at King’s College London, was published online in the journal Occupational Medicine.

“Our results highlight the potential profound impact Covid-19 has had on the mental health of frontline personnel in the United Kingdom,” the study said.

“() The likely rate of PTSD we report is about nine times the total population and more than twice as high as that of recent combat veterans.”

Greenberg tweeted that the study “clearly shows that many intensive care workers have a very difficult time in an understandable way.” He urged them not to feel stigmatized and to seek free help, if necessary, through the NHS.

The researchers note that intensive care staff experienced many stressors during the pandemic, including staff shortages, fears of contracting the virus and endangering their loved ones, concerns about the lack of personal protective equipment and stress related to the loss of life. patients despite their best efforts.

The study’s findings will only increase anxiety about the stress placed on NHS staff in England as they struggle to treat a record number of patients with Covid-19.

Hancock said Wednesday that accommodating Covid patients in hotels was seen as a “backup plan” by the country’s authorities, but that “obviously not what I want to do.”

“We are considering all the options, this is not something we are actively implementing. But I would say that this will only happen if it is clinically correct for each individual patient,” Hancock told the BBC.

“There is a delay from the number of cases to the number of people showing up at the hospital. So we know that this pressure on the NHS will continue to increase over the next few weeks,” he added.

Hancock said Nightingale’s temporary hospitals, set up by NHS England in the wake of the first wave of the pandemic, were there as a backup option for hospitals.

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Asked about what patients will be sent to hotels, the health secretary said he would “be withdrawing patients or patients who have been in hospital who no longer need full hospital treatment but are not fully prepared to go to the hospital.” at home. “

London and the South East of England are among the areas most affected by the new option, although it has now spread to the United Kingdom and is found in at least 50 other countries, including the severely affected Ireland.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Friday announced a “major incident” in the English capital “due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus … and the increase in Covid-19 cases in hospitals, which left the NHS at risk of being overwhelmed.”

The UK government is pinning its hopes on tackling the crisis with mass vaccination against Covid-19.

“So far in the United Kingdom, we have given 2.6 million doses to 2.3 million people and we have protected more people through vaccinations than all the countries in Europe combined,” Hancock told a Downing Street press briefing on Monday.

Hancock said Britain was on track to deliver the first dose of the vaccine to “all four cohorts” – which account for 88% of Covid-19-related deaths – by 15 February. These groups cover all care homes for the elderly, residents and staff, all over the age of 70 and health workers in the field of health and social care.

Two-fifths of those in their 80s and nearly a quarter of nursing home residents have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine since Monday, Hancock said.

CNN’s Martin Goylando, Duarte Mendonca and Niam Kennedy contributed to the report.

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