NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have issued a “critical incident” as services are “under unprecedented pressure” as cases surge across the country.
CCG have issued the critical incident which will allow the hospitals to “take additional steps to maintain safe services for our patients and help us cope with the growing pressures,” Cath Byford, chief nurse said.
“We are seeing large numbers of very unwell people requiring 999 ambulance services and urgent hospital care,” Byford said.
“There are also ongoing challenges in discharging patients who are well enough to leave hospital, and we are seeing an increase in staff sickness – all of which leads to longer waits than we would like for patients to be seen and admitted.”
Hospitals in Bristol have also declared an “internal critical incidents” amid rising pressures on their services daily.
The University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and the North Bristol NHS Trust who also run the Bristol Royal Infirmary, the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and Southmead now “remains in its highest state of alert,” they warned.
In a statement, the Healthier Together Partnership, which represents health services across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, they said, “Our whole health and care system is extremely busy, and remains in its highest state of alert.
“Both acute trusts in our area declared internal critical incidents across the New Year bank holiday weekend.
“This meant they were able to open up extra beds and ward space, as well as request additional staff.
“Like other areas of the country, many staff across health and care are either unwell with COVID-19 or isolating. This means our sickness rates are higher than normal.”
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents health trusts, told Sky News that staff who are either off sick with Covid and are self-isolating is having a “massive impact” on the NHS.
Seventeen hospitals in Greater Manchester have also halted some non-urgent surgery as cases have risen “sharply.”
There has been calls for the government to bring restrictions “without delay” as “tens of thousands” of NHS staff are off sick and the NHS is “in a state of crisis.”
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) penned a letter to the Health Secretary Sajid Javid warning the NHS cannot “afford” the level of staff absences and they have called for a more “cautious approach” to introduce restrictions.”
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said on Tuesday morning, the staffing situation in hospitals is “almost impossible.”