Seven days in medicine: 18-24 MarchBMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1177 (Published 26 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m1177
NHS strikes major deal with private hospitals to boost capacity
The NHS in England will benefit from an extra 8000 beds, almost 1200 more ventilators, and nearly 20 000 extra healthcare staff from this week to aid the fight against coronavirus, after NHS England reached agreement with independent hospitals to use their staff and capacity. Under the agreement the private sector will reallocate almost all of its national hospital capacity at the same time to the NHS. The private sector would be reimbursed “at cost,” meaning no profit would be made for doing so, said NHS England.
UK government bans parallel export of “crucial” drugs
The Department of Health and Social Care banned the parallel export out of the UK for more than 80 drugs commonly used to treat patients in NHS intensive care units. The action, a standard measure to manage potential drug shortages, will cover medicines such as adrenaline, insulin, paracetamol, and morphine. The measure is designed to ensure an “uninterrupted supply” of drugs for NHS hospitals treating patients with covid-19 and to prevent companies buying drugs meant for UK patients and selling them on for a higher price in another country.
Chancellor pledges £2.9bn to boost care for most vulnerable
The UK government pledged £2.9bn to protect and support the most vulnerable people in society and free up at least 15 000 hospital beds. The funding, announced by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, in last week’s budget, will …