Sometimes we come in to find a bed empty, and I don’t know if it’s because we’ve succeeded or we’ve failed

It’s hard to know how many patients we’ve lost. On a regular ward, if there’s a death, you know about it. In our intensive care unit, we’re supposed to have around 30 beds, but coronavirus has forced us to increase our capacity to more than 80, so I have no idea what’s going on around me. I can also hear cardiac arrest bells from another unit, but I don’t know what proportion of the patients live or die.

Extra beds are squeezed into existing units, and when they reach capacity we have turned theatres, daycare units and post-operation recovery centres into areas to treat Covid patients. I’m amazed at how safe we’ve managed to make things, but that’s despite the situation, rather than because of it.

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