'This is not normal - it's horrific': Inside one of UK's busiest Covid wards where doctors close to being overwhelmed

  • Video report by ITV News Health Editor Emily Morgan

Staff at one of the busiest Covid wards in the UK are stretched to the limit, with one telling ITV News there are "no more intensive care nurses to be found".

ITV News was given access to London's Royal Free Hospital, which is treating three times the usual number of patients in its intensive care unit, on a day the UK passed a grim milestone - a record number of patients dying in a 24-hour period.

A further 1,564 people have died with Covid-19 within four weeks of testing positive for the virus, which means more people have now lost their lives in the second wave than the first.

Ninety per cent of patients at the Royal Free are on ventilators, far more than at any point since the April peak - with staff struggling to cope.

Dr Stephen Ward, a Critical Care Consultant at Royal Free Hospital, says staff are under "immense pressure".

"There are no more intensive care nurses to be found, we don’t have a secret supply of them," he told ITV News Health Editor Emily Morgan.

  • ITV News Health Editor Emily Morgan explains why doctors do not want people to become immune to the horrific reality faced by patients and staff in Covid wards

"We simply have to use the nurses we've got. All of the intensive care nurses have really stood up to this incredibly well, they're under immense pressure.

"They really are the frontline of this and they're working incredibly hard."

While the public may be aware of the bleak situation patients and staff are facing in Covid wards, doctors at the ward do not want anyone to become immune to the scenes in hospitals around the country right now.

Lucas Attwood, an ICU physio therapist, says staff are worried about what's yet to come as tens of thousands continue to test positive each day

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