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SUCCESS: Requisition private hospital beds to help NHS with coronavirus

Thanks to all your support we have won this campaign

The Prime Minister has described coronavirus as "the worst public health crisis for a generation". Now he must do what it takes to protect us from harm.

Our NHS was already in a crisis before coronavirus and is now expected to deal with a national health emergency. NHS Staff will do their best to deal with coronavirus but after years of cuts and privatisation of NHS Services our NHS staff need the Government to do much more.

There are approximately 128,000 overnight beds in the NHS across England and only a small number of these are intensive care beds. It is clear that our health service is going to need all of the support that they can get in this time of crisis.

There are at least 570 private hospitals in the UK and around 8,000 beds in private sector hospitals. Some of these are much needed intensive care beds.

Using these beds to divert non-coronavirus related treatments from NHS hospitals makes sense in order to protect the public.

The Government should do the right thing and mobilise all health capacity - be it public or private, to deal with the coronavirus crisis and support staff who are doing their best to deliver healthcare and help save lives.

We are calling on the Prime Minister to take action now in Parliament, as a matter of extreme urgency, to requisition the beds of private sector hospitals across the UK if they are required in what is now a public health emergency.

We know this is possible. All sorts of contingency plans are being made in the background by very capable medical and scientific advisers to deal with the emergency. Reports suggest the NHS is already in talks with private sector providers on using their facilities if NHS facilities succumb to a surge in cases.

The Government and their advisers have the power to requisition these private hospital beds to increase capacity and deal with the crisis. It is a matter of political will for the benefit of all people.

Back our call? Let's tell Government to do the right thing by signing this petition.

Our open letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

You have described Coronavirus as “the worst public health crisis for a generation”.

Given the scale of this crisis in other countries affected, and the impact on healthcare in those countries, action is needed now to protect our communities, families and loved ones.

But our National Health Service may not have the capacity to deal with the Coronavirus Crisis alone. There are approximately 128,000 overnight beds in the NHS across England and only a small number of these are intensive care beds.  The NHS is already under strain and we need to use everything we’ve got to protect the public from this crisis.

You and your Government should go further. Order the requisition the beds of private sector hospitals across the UK to divert non-coronavirus-related treatments from NHS hospitals.

There are at least 570 private hospitals in the UK and around 8,000 beds in private sector hospitals, some of which will also be intensive care beds. Using these beds would help protect the public, dealing with the crisis by giving people the care they need using all the capacity that is available in our health system – be it public or private.

Please now do the right thing for the benefit of all people.

Yours sincerely,

[SIGNATORY]

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