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Coronavirus: Hospital Beds

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 105323, tabled on 17 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of SAGE forecasts of likely hospital bed use for covid-19 patients during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

26 January 2022

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) provides advice to the Government on its response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Their operational subgroup, the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M-O), regularly models potential scenarios for the trajectory of the epidemic, including hospital admissions and occupancy. Such modelling is regularly updated to reflect changes in assumptions as and when more detailed studies are released. This has been the case throughout the pandemic.

Much of SAGE’s modelling is of unmitigated scenarios, which assume that no interventions are made. In reality, non-pharmaceutical interventions have been implemented in order to avoid such scenarios occurring. Comparisons between modelled scenarios and real events should be made on a like-for-like basis as the assumptions and/or context changed between the modelling being performed and the outturn data. The SPI-M-O regularly reviews these scenarios against outturn data.