Following the implementation of England’s third national lockdown, it has become increasingly clear that the capital is currently one of the areas where coronavirus is most prevalent. Earlier today London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, announced that the virus was “out of control” and declared a ‘major incident’ following the newest figures from Public Health England showing that more than 1000 in every 100,000 Londoners were infected. One issue raised by the Mayor was the extreme and sudden demand for beds and Kahn went as far as to claim that the city could “run out.” Such issues are particularly noticeable in Kingston Hospital, run by the Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation trust.

 Data from NHS England published earlier this week revealed the strain put on one of South West London’s biggest hospitals by the spike in cases, showing that by Sunday 3rd January, there were only twelve total spare beds in Kingston Hospital, and had no available critical care beds remaining. Such a shortage of beds has been linked to the fact that the London borough of Kingston Upon-Thames saw 1478 new coronavirus cases in the last week (up by 327 (28.4%) from the week before) as 35.2% of beds in Kingston Hospital are occupied by Covid-19 patients according to statistics from Public Health England.

 The shortage of beds is not the only issue that Kingston Hospital has faced in regards to their response to the pandemic, with the Telegraph reporting early in December that 34.3% of coronavirus patients in the hospital had caught Covid-19 whilst being treated there, the third highest figure in the country. However, the hospital has also been key to the country’s rollout of vaccination programme in South West London, having been administering vaccinations since last December to the most vulnerable members of the community.