Royal College of Anaesthetists sets out support for new government measures to combat spread of COVID-19

Published: 05/01/2021

Responding to the announcements by the PM and the First Minister for Scotland of a new national lockdown, Professor Ravi Mahajan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:

“We welcome the implementation of a new national lockdown. Hospitals are seeing a considerable increase in COVID admissions, pushing staff and resources beyond their capacity, and substantially impacting patient care. Without decisive action the UK’s Chief Medical Officers and NHS England’s Medical Directors are clear the NHS is at risk of being overwhelmed in the next 21 days.

“The pandemic is placing significant strain on intensive care services with many having bed occupancy at above safe levels, and the subsequent use of surge beds stretching staff very thin. We have very sadly seen elective operations having to be suspended in many areas, including cancer procedures, where any delays could have potentially devastating consequences for patients. If we do not take decisive action to tackle this virus now, we will see increasing waiting lists which may take years to get under control.” 

“The vaccination will be the route out of COVID, but with cases rising almost everywhere, it is absolutely crucial that the public play their part in combatting the virus. It has never been more important to reduce the risk of infection and we urge everybody to obey the rules of hands, face, space, get a free NHS test if you develop symptoms, and stay at home to protect yourself, your loved ones and the NHS.”