There are in fact fewer ICU beds are occupied than last year
On paper the 95 per cent statistic, revealed earlier this week by Liverpool city councillor Paul Brant, conjures up a disturbing image of overflowing hospitals and inadequate care.
So rest assured that it bears no relation to reality. Indeed on Thursday, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust dismissed Mr Brant’s claim, insisting that its units were only 80 per cent full with just 47 of its 61 critical care beds occupied.
That may still seem high, but it is actually perfectly normal for ICU beds to be full at this time of year.
Last year, for example, 51 out of 59 ICU beds in Liverpool’s hospitals were full, while in 2018 it was 52 out of 59 beds.
Meanwhile, if there is a surge in demand for intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients, let’s not forget how quickly the NHS was able to repurpose general and acute care hospital beds during the first coronavirus spike.
In fact, only on Thursday Liverpool’s Aintree University Hospital revealed that it has already fitted 40 beds with ventilators and a further 30 beds with specialist CPAP breathing equipment.