Doctor at coronavirus-hit London hospital pleads for help from temporary staff

A doctor at a coronavirus-hit London hospital has pleaded for help from temporary staff, with the NHS trust becoming overwhelmed by coronavirus patients, ITV News has learnt

In an email sent to locum staff, which has been seen by ITV News, a consultant at Northwick Park said staff expect to be in a “terrible position” in the coming weeks and need urgent support.

The doctor says the hospital has seen more than 700 cases pass through in just three weeks.

A separate member of staff at Northwick Hospital has also told ITV News that staff are becoming completely “overwhelmed” on wards and have now started praying before shifts.

Northwick Park Hospital has seen more than 700 cases in three weeks, the doctor said. Credit: PA

It comes as health officials revealed 422 more people died in the last 24 hours after contracting Covid-19, a jump of 87 in one day.

It’s the largest daily increase in the UK so far.

The London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Northwick Park hospital, is at the centre of the outbreak, with 21 patients who tested positive for Covid 19 having died there over the weekend.

The email sent to locum staff says: “We at Northwick Park have been hit pretty badly by the coronavirus outbreak with probably more than 700 cases which have passed through the hospital in three weeks.

"We expect to be in a terrible position within weeks, with desperately needed staff across the hospital."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, but people have been using the underground. Credit: PA

"If you would like to help us at NWP then please let me know what you are able to offer.

London’s ExCel Centre will open as a makeshift hospital from next week to help deal with the increased pressures on the NHS from coronavirus.

The Ministry of Defence are helping to set up the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital at the ExCel, while is expected to have around 4,000 beds in two separate wards.

Speaking at the daily Government press conference, Mr Hancock said: "We will, next week, open a new hospital – a temporary hospital – the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the Excel centre in London.

People have been told to social distance from one another. Credit: PA

"The NHS Nightingale Hospital will comprise two wards, each of 2,000 people.

A spokeswoman for the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Sadly, we can confirm that a further 21 patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 have passed away between Friday 20 March and Monday 23 March, and our thoughts remain with those people who have lost loved ones.

“Our trust is seeing a high number of Intensive Care Unit cases, and we are stepping up our support in response to this demand, having already significantly increased the number of intensive care beds at our hospitals, but we need everyone to also do their bit by staying at home and washing your hands.”

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