Plan and collect data now so you can get the best from your capacity
Our analysis predicts that there will be an additional 3,500 reported cases of Covid-19 in England by Monday - much of this will translate into similar levels of hospital admissions given the approach to testing.
Steps being taken by the Government to reduce the rate of growth are in the right direction, but it does not feel like the message is having as much traction as needed. A lot of Londoners are still squeezing onto crowded tubes and trains. We are lucky that the population of London is on the whole younger and lucky to have access to more hospital capacity - for now.
By contrast, I'm told that in Hong Kong:
"They were very swift to respond, benefits of a less liberal democracy an obedient population and one traumatised by SARS. Most offices shut down, people were not really going out for the first 3 weeks, everyone in masks, temperature checks everywhere and every surface sanitised about every 2 hours"
More capacity is needed. But moving people in an out of the limited capacity we will have will be equally important - large flows going through a small stock of beds can quickly cause havoc. The NHS needs to plan now and agree it's criteria for how it stratifies and moves patients through the different levels of care rapidly, so it can make the best use of limited resources and maintain people's dignity.
The key enabler for this will be data from those patients currently admitted with Covid-19. What can we learn and predict from these data, so that treatment plans and pathways are clearer in the future.