Elderly Coronavirus Plague Patients Were Denied Intensive Care During the Height of the Crisis in the UK

Older coronavirus patients were denied intensive care treatment on the NHS during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been claimed.

Those aged over 80, and some in younger groups such as the over 60s, were not given potentially life-saving treatment because health chiefs were concerned the NHS would be overrun, according to reports.

It is claimed documents called a ‘triage tool’, drawn up at the request of England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty, were used in preventing elderly Covid-19 patients from receiving ventilation in intensive care.

As part of an investigation, the Sunday Times says the tool was used to create a ‘score’ for patients based on their age, frailty, and illness. Under the original system, over 80s were automatically excluded from intensive care treatment due to their age. Even those in the over 60s who were considered frail and with pre-existing health conditions could have been over the intensive care threshold.

The tool was never formally published, nor was it official NHS policy. But the paper, which carries claims by doctors who say the tool was used in their hospitals, said the documents were widely circulated among health care professionals.

It also cites data, which shows the over 70s and 80s groups made up the smallest percentage of ICU patients, despite having the highest number of deaths.

However, NHS chiefs have today hit back at the reports, denying older patients were refused treatment. Officials say that while early work on an intensive care national ‘triage tool’ did take place, it was ‘not completed’ and never issued.

They also denied critical care units were ever at capacity – backed up by ministers spending £220million on seven Nightingale field hospitals that were barely used in the first wave. Meanwhile, NHS chiefs say that even at the height of the pandemic, only 42 per cent of NHS’s ventilator beds were being used.

An NHS spokesperson added that two thirds of the 110,000 treated Covid-19 hospital patients so far were aged over 65.

The reports come amid another day of major Covid-19 news, in which it was revealed: 

  • NHS workers are ‘set to get a vaccine in weeks’ as the Government accelerates timetable for a mass roll-out before Christmas – while ministers introduce new laws to bypass EU approval for jab;
  • Coronavirus self-isolation could be slashed to SEVEN days amid fears that Britons who come into contact with infected people are flouting the tough 14-day rules – as Tories call for testing tsar Dido Harding to QUIT;
  • Fresh plans to add an extra level of Covid restrictions that would close restaurants and non-essential shops ‘are being drawn up if the infection rate doesn’t drop’; 
  • Wales reviews ‘trolley police’ ban on shops selling non-essential goods amid huge backlash: First Minister Mark Drakeford admits they need to use ‘common sense’ after revolt at draconian curbs;
  • Thousands of pounds from Britain’s coronavirus bailout pot for the cultural sector goes to music festival promoting ‘world control’ by China
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Source: Daily Mail