On Tuesday evening Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a Covid-O meeting at Downing Street as hospitals in London started to run out of intensive care beds.
NHS chiefs have now drawn up plans to transfer patients from London to hospitals in Yorkshire where they have intensive care space.
A leaked document from the Health Service Journal (HSJ) shows that critical care is now running at more than 100% across the South East and London.
Intensive Care Units (ICU) was running at 113 and 114% respectively on Monday evening, and the East of England was also at 100% capacity.
NHS bosses are considering to build tents for triage as they are operating at more than 100% capacity.
Hospitals in Essex have declared a “major incident” over a surge in cases as there is “significant growing demand” across the county.
Anthony McKeever, executive lead for Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership said, “We are taking every action possible within the NHS and across the wider health and social care partnerships in Essex to limit the impact on the NHS and the wider health system.
“This involves using critical care capacity elsewhere in Essex and the eastern region and identifying additional locations and capacity to assist with the discharging of patients to reduce pressure on hospitals.”
He added, “Our strong working relationships mean we are able to respond effectively to support our local communities.”
Mr McKeever also paid tribute to his “hard-working colleagues” who are “all doing an amazing job in extremely difficult circumstances.”