Greater Manchester could soon run out of beds to treat Covid-19 patients and some of the region’s main hospitals are already full, a leaked NHS document has revealed.
Hospitals in Stockport, Salford and Bolton were already at maximum capacity by Friday, with no spare beds left to cope with spiralling infection rates, reported The Guardian.
A total of 211 of the 257 critical care beds available across the region’s 12 hospitals were already being used by people suffering with coronavirus, or those in a critical condition due to another condition.
According to the paper, hospitals in Greater Manchester admitted 110 new patients, with suspected or confirmed Covid-19, in the 24 hours before the document was created.
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The document suggested the region is in danger of becoming overwhelmed by patients in a similar way to Liverpool’s hospitals, which are at a ‘critical point’ and having to cancel non-urgent procedures again.
The figures come as the deadlock between Andy Burnham and the prime minister raged on today, with the Greater Manchester mayor refusing tier three restrictions without sufficient financial backing in place.
Burnham called on political leaders to hold a Commons vote to help in ‘breaking the impasse’ over the restrictions and secure greater support for businesses and councils in the hardest-hit areas.
The mayor is said to have had a ‘constructive’ conversation with Boris Johnson’s chief strategic adviser, Sir Edward Lister, on Sunday afternoon.
Downing Street reportedly offered a multimillion pound package in a bid to strike a deal to move the region up to the toughest restrictions to join Liverpool’s city region and Lancashire.
Burnham wrote to the PM, Sir Keir Starmer and other senior ministers in Westminster, insisting that ‘this is not just a Greater Manchester issue’ and warned ‘most places’ will end up under tier three before a vaccine is rolled out.
He called for a ‘full and fair furlough scheme’ covering 80% of wages, or at least the national minimum wage, support for the self-employed and improved compensation for businesses.
‘We recognise the uncertainty that this is causing and write to ask for your help in breaking the impasse and finding a fair resolution,’ the mayor said.
‘This could be done by Parliament calling an urgent debate and vote this week to establish a cross-party consensus on what constitutes a fair financial framework for people in areas under Tier 3 restrictions.’
Earlier in the day, Cabinet minister Michael Gove heightened tensions when he accused Burnham of having engaged in political ‘posturing’ and called for him to accept the measures ‘to save people’s lives’.
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He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday he wanted to ‘reach an agreement with the political leadership’ in Greater Manchester.
‘I want them to put aside for a moment some of the political positioning that they’ve indulged in and I want them to work with us in order to ensure that we save lives and protect the NHS,’ he added.
‘Instead of press conferences and posturing, what we need is action to save people’s lives.’
Downing Street said it expected further conversations to take place with Greater Manchester leaders on Monday.
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