Exclusive ITV News access to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton has shown the strain the NHS is under as coronavirus patients ‘flood’ the intensive care wards.
The city is the highest area in the Midlands for infection rates and the 22nd highest in the country (as of Tuesday, January 12).
The West Midlands is seeing one of the biggest infection rate increases in the country.
Cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton
NHS England allowed cameras into the hospital to show the reality being faced by health professionals on a daily basis.
Numerous operations, including surgery for cancer patients, are having to be pushed back because of a need for beds and volunteers across the Trust are having to support on the units.
Covid patients in the ward, which is near capacity, are aged in their 20s upwards and the normal ICU capacity has increased by 200%.
We’re really worried, as a nursing profession and allied health professionals, that this third surge doesn’t seem to have an end. When it started in March we thought we may have finished by the summer, as I think a lot of people did. It continues and we’re seeing sick patients, we’re seeing the hospitals flooded with sick patients. We’re really worried.
On Wednesday, January 6, Professor David Laughton, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust Chief Executive said:
“Things are different now - in a normal winter, we'd put nurses in the corridor in A and E, we'd offload ambulances,” he said.
“It's not the right thing to do, but do it every winter, in corridors until cubicles become free, but now we're having to hold people in ambulances as it's dangerous to put them in corridors not knowing if they're covid positive or negative.
“I believe we'll see the peak in the next 14-21 days as we're only starting to see some of the effects of Christmas Day, not seen all yet, not seen effect of New Year, or effects of people going to sales after Boxing Day.”
Watch the video above to see work being done by nurses at New Cross Hospital.