Medics fear second wave of Covid-19 across the West Midlands

More than 250 doctors have warned they would not be confident of managing a second wave of Covid-19 cases in the West Midlands.

A number of concerns have been raised in a survey of more than 560 doctors throughout the region by the British Medical Association (BMA).

As the lockdown is eased, there is the potential for spikes in infections to grow.

Union bosses are calling on the Government to establish a "widescale, accurate and systematic approach" to test and trace and support the public in adhering to social distancing and infection control measures as restrictions are relaxed.

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Dr Stephen Millar, BMA West Midlands regional council chair, has warned against easing the lockdown too quickly.

He said: "The risk surrounding this highly infectious illness remains significant and if there is further spread thousands more families could lose loved ones before their time.

"In a recent BMA survey, doctors in the West Midlands revealed fears around a second peak of Covid-19 that has the potential to overwhelm the health service; 46 per cent of doctors in the region expressed that they were not confident in their ability to manage a second influx of Covid-19 cases.

"We understand that the lockdown in itself has had an impact on people’s health and wellbeing, but it remains vital that easing it must be done gradually and sensibly. The Government must take every measure possible to support the public and employers in stopping the spread of the virus, whether that’s in outdoor places, reuniting with friends and loved ones, or returning to work.

"To prevent a second peak and avoid more loss of life in the West Midlands, the BMA is calling on the Government to establish a widescale, accurate and systematic approach to test and trace and support the public in adhering to social distancing and infection control measures as restrictions are relaxed."

Demand

The BMA says the survey also revealed concerns about managing patient demand as normal NHS services are resumed.

The union has revealed that 54 per cent of doctors who responded in the West Midlands said they were either not very confident or not confident at all in their own department being able to manage patient demand as NHS services are resumed.

Meanwhile, 42 per cent of the 564 respondents said they had seen a significant increase in demand for non-Covid patient care recently, but that it remained below pre-March levels – 15 per cent said it was “back to pre-March levels".

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