Hospitals across the UK have started to cancel routine operations as the second wave of coronavirus patients are filling up wards.
Liverpool University Hospital are “scaling back planned operations as medical chiefs said they have now reached a “critical point.”
NHS England’s medical director Professor Stephen Powis warned, “Liverpool University Hospital has the highest number of Covid-19 patients, currently more than 250 patients with Covid in its beds and in the last four weeks, hospitals in the North West and the North East have witnessed a seven-fold increase in Covid patients in their intensive care units.”
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Steve Warburton said, “We will continue to prioritise surgery based on clinical need, with a view to maintaining urgent and cancer surgery where possible.
“We will continue to maintain access to outpatient appointments wherever possible, and maintain diagnostic activity.”
Doctors in Leeds have warned that their hospitals are “very close” to being forced to cut non-Covid services, and experts in Greater Manchester warned there has been an eight-fold increase of patients.
Victoria Eaton, Leeds director of public health warned that hospitals across the city have a “huge backlog” of those who “desperately need surgery.”
She further warned that staff are Manchester, Sunderland and Horrogate Nightingale hospitals have been placed on standby, but it will be “incredibly challenging” to find enough staff.
Dr Jane Eddleston, an intensive care consultant at Manchester Royal Infirmary said, “The situation at the moment is that 30% of our critical care beds are taken up with patients with Covid and this is starting to impact on the services we provide for other patients.”
Plymouth’s COO Kevin Bager said this week that wards must be “reconfigured” to “keep everyone safe.”
Bager said, “Due to a growing number of Covid patients and a need to ensure we can keep everyone safe we continue to temporarily pause non-critical inpatient surgery at Derriford Hospital.
“Please note that surgery for patients attending the hospital as day cases, without needing an overnight stay, is still going ahead for most patients.”