THE SCOTTISH Government has no plans to put the NHS Louisa Jordan on alert – despite Covid hospital admissions soaring from 50 to 500 in the space of a month.

Nicola Sturgeon insisted that plans to ensure there are enough beds are “under active consideration” but the Lousia Jordan emergency hospital facility, set up at the SEC in Glasgow, is not yet required.

The reassurance comes despite Scotland interim chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith, warning he would "fully expect hospital admissions to continue to rise over the next few weeks”.

In today’s daily figures for Scotland, there are 527 people in hospital with Covid-19 – an increase of 40 in a 24-hour period – while bed capacity is running at 80 per cent.

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When the First Minister confirmed last month that the Scottish Government was altering the method used to define a Covid-19 hospital patient due to “over-counting”, there were less than 50 coronavirus patients in Scotland’s hospitals.

Ms Sturgeon said: “In that period of a month, we can see the increase in hospital admissions – of course, that is a concern.

“Our hospital bed capacity right now, as would normally be the case in hospitals, is over 80 per cent. Clearly that means all of the contingencies that hospitals and health boards have to make sure that they can treat non-Covid patients but retain capacity to deal with Covid patients, are all under very active consideration.”

She added: “There are no plans yet, some of the Nightingale hospitals in England were put on alert yesterday - we have not done that with Louisa Jordan yet but we will be monitoring very carefully the position with hospital admissions to make sure that all of things we need to do to enable our hospitals to cope." 

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Dr Smith warned that the expected further rise in hospital admissions likely to happen over the coming weeks is “partly because we are seeing a greater number of cases into older age groups who we know are more likely to require hospital admission”.

He added: “Planning for this has been there for many, many months. “There's been contingency planning for the NHS across Scotland to make sure that there is adequate capacity.”