Coordination of distribution of coronavirus patients starts again, alarm about regular care

The National Coordination Centre for Patients Dissemination (LCPS) will restart on Wednesday. It is a first step towards spreading patients between the regions, now that the number of hospital admissions is increasing. “The starting point for a second wave of covid patients has always been to allow regular care to continue. This means that when the pressure increases, we move patients easily so that hospitals do not have to scale down regular care,” reports Ernst Kuipers, chairman of the National Acute Care Network (LNAZ).

The centre asks all hospitals how many beds they have available for corona patients in the intensive care unit and on the nursing ward. The centre also keeps a record of how many beds in the intensive care unit are intended for people with other conditions.

In recent days, patients have already been transferred within regions, but not from one region to another. During the first corona wave, in a military operation, people from badly affected areas such as North Brabant were transferred to hospitals where there was still room, such as in Groningen and Germany.

The LCPS will be located at the National Collaborative Control Room in Zeist. Previously, it was housed in the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. At the end of May, the coordination centre went “on the alert” when the number of corona patients admitted continued to fall. The structure remained in place “in case the number of coronavirus events increases and we need the spread and coordination again,” Kuipers said then. Now the time has come.

Hospitals are currently treating 420 corona patients. That is about twice as many as a week ago. It is the highest number since 9 June. Of these, 329 are in a nursing ward, four more than on Monday. Intensive cares are treating 91 people because of the coronavirus, six more than a day earlier.

There are also 627 people with other conditions in the intensive care units. That‘s 92 more than on Monday. In total, intensivists treat 718 people, the highest number since the end of May. In one day, the number of ICU patients has increased by almost a hundred.

Regular care

On Tuesday evening, the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) announced that it would scale up crisis consultations with hospitals, health insurers and the National Coordination Point for Patients Dispersal (LCPS) on the accessibility of coronavirus care and regular care. “We are also going to monitor the consequences for patients’ access to regular care even more intensively,” NZa announced.

We see that the number of hospital admissions due to corona is increasing. That is alarming. The pressure on the rest of the care is increasing as a result. This can again lead to longer waiting times. This is what we are worried about NZa chairman Marian Kaljouw: “During the first wave many people did not have the care they needed. People suffered damage to their health, some of it serious. We must all work together to prevent a repeat of the scaling down of regular care at all costs. But if we do not act now, that is a realistic scenario