London hospitals are so overstretched that seriously ill patients with the virus are being sent to Newcastle some 300 miles away, according to The Guardian.
The newspaper also revealed that in recent days, patients have been moved to Sheffield, Northampton and Birmingham intensive care units.
Dr Claudia Paoloni, president of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, told the newspaper, “Hospitals have already spread intensive care teams more thinly, with nurses juggling three or four seriously ill patients at a time instead of the usual one.
“They have expanded intensive care departments into every available space and redeployed specialist staff to cope.
“The fact that all this is not enough and they are still having to take the extraordinary step of transferring critically ill patients hundreds of miles reflects the unprecedented gravity of the situation facing our NHS.”
Dr Paoloni said that years of under funding, under staffing and under-resources has led to the consequences that the NHS is currently facing.
She said, “We have to be blunt. Our NHS is on the ropes because of years of under staffing, under-resourcing and the failure to call a full lockdown earlier.
“The lessons from the heartbreaking crisis now facing the NHS, its staff, patients and their families must be learned.”