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Covid patients on ICU "required far greater staff resources than we anticipated"

Covid patients on ICU

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Covid patients on ICU "required far greater staff resources than we anticipated"


Elective surgical waiting lists "will take a long time to clear” as staff resources in ICU were inundated by "greater than anticipated" health demands posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

That is one of the messages that has emerged from a 'comparing of notes' between 40 anaesthetists from Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar as they shared their experiences about caring for patients during the pandemic.

The inaugural ‘pan-island anaesthetic/intensive care seminar’ was set up by Dr Graham Beck, a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at Guernsey’s Medical Specialist Group.

It was the first ever meeting between colleagues in the four departments. 

“During the seminar we shared experiences and reviewed the challenges we faced with regard to equipment, oxygen supplies, staffing and support from people outside the ICU,” said Dr Beck.  

"We are all left with an increase in elective surgical waiting lists"

“We all found providing care for Covid patients on ICU required much greater staffing resources than we anticipated. 

“All four hospitals had rapidly developed plans that dramatically increased the capacity for care of patients, and fortunately all were able to cope with the peaks of demands that occurred. The experience will allow for even better responses to future emergencies. 

“Fortunately, all islands were able to cope with urgent and emergency surgery throughout the pandemic but regrettably we are all left with an increase in elective surgical waiting lists which will take a long time to clear.” 

More seminars are planned in 2022 to work closer together on planning other aspects of care including joint audit work, emergency surgery and medical staffing.

Pictured top: Dr Graham Beck, a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the Medical Specialist Group.

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