An NHS health board in Wales has appealed for help from medical students after a surge in coronavirus cases.
The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board put out the plea on social media yesterday calling for “assistance from medical students or other staff groups who have previously supported with proning patients”, the process where people are turned onto their front to help with breathing.
On Boxing Day the country recorded an additional 2,237 cases and confirmed another 35 people have died from the virus, bringing the total in the country to 3,298.
The health board today took down the social media post and confirmed that staffing levels had now improved so there was no need for people to call to offer further assistance.
Politicians have pointed to the plea for help as a sign that NHS services are under significant strain.
The deputy leader of Plaid Cymru Rhun ap Iorwerth described the situation as “desperate” on his Twitter account and added that “this is how serious things are in parts of our NHS.”
And Women’s Equality Party deputy leader Dr Hannah Barham-Brown tweeted: “Most scary tweet I’ve seen this week? Yep. Vitally important? Very much so.
“This is why we in the NHS are BEGGING people to be careful and stay home.”
And GP Rammya Mathew questioned why requests for urgent help were coming from social media, rather than from a coordinated national effort.
She tweeted: “V. worrying urgent requests for help coming from hospitals to support A+E/ Critical care via social media. Literally being asked to turn up to A+E with NHS ID.
“But theres no national messaging to say that our hospitals are on their knees. Something really not right about this!”
Meanwhile, Clare Wenham, assistant professor in Global Health Policy at LSE, urged No10 and Mr Drakeford to take action.
She added: “This is alarming: Time to face up to pandemic realities when tiers haven’t been working.”