HOSPITALS in Greater Manchester are set to run out of beds for coronavirus patients – while Boris Johnson plans to offer £100million to force a Tier 3 lockdown in days.
The PM hopes the move will placate Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and other regional leaders who have refused to accept his Covid-19 clampdown without greater financial support.
Mr Johnson’s offer comes as several of Greater Manchester’s 12 hospitals are already full with wards in Salford, Stockport and Bolton at maximum capacity, a leaked NHS document has revealed.
Ministers believe the Mayor will come under pressure to accept the restrictions if the situation in the area worsens.
Mr Johnson is said to want to avoid imposing Tier 3 status without local consent but has threatened to intervene if there is no agreement.
While a Whitehall insider told The Sun that ministers “cannot wait too much longer” before they must act.
But the troubling NHS document suggests that Greater Manchester’s hospitals will soon become overwhelmed by patients needing emergency Covid care to save their lives, the Guardian reports.
Figures showed that by Friday 211 of the 257 critical care beds in Greater Manchester were being used for Covid patients or those critically ill from another illness.
This equates to 82 per cent of the region’s total supply of hospital beds.
There were 110 people admitted to hospitals in Greater Manchester with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid in 24 hours before NHS bosses were handed the document on Friday.
Those figures took the number of coronavirus infections hospitals in the area were treating to 520.
A spokesman for the NHS in Greater Manchester said: “We are monitoring the situation with our hospital admissions, overall beds and ICU beds very, very closely.
“It’s not unusual for 80-85% of ICU beds to be in use at this time of year and our hospitals work together if there are particular pressures in any one area, to ensure the best care for patients who need the high level of support ICU provides, both for Covid and for other reasons.”
A senior doctor in Manchester told the newspaper: “I’m dreading the coming months… even without Covid the wards get full to bursting.”