Covid is having 'huge impact' on hospitals, health bosses in Midlands warn

Health bosses in the Midlands warn the growing number of Covid patients is causing increased disruption to the health system.

Dr Caroline Trevithick, who is the Executive Director of Nursing for Leicestershire and Rutland's Care Commissioning Group, said some hospitals are having to cancel and delay booked procedures.

She told ITV News Central: "The impact on our hospitals is huge at the moment.

"We're having to cancel some of our booked procedures.

"But unfortunately some of those booked procedures are for people who are very ill anyway without Covid and so they're having to be delayed because people with Covid are in hospital."

Her comments come as the number of people with coronavirus in Leicester's hospitals has doubled since Christmas Day. 

'The impact is huge... We're having to cancel some of our booked procedures,' Dr Trevithick tells ITV Central

The majority of the city's hospital intensive care beds are now taken up by Covid patients, with more than 75% of them unvaccinated. 

It comes a day after England and Scotland reported a further 157,758 new cases of Covid-19 across the two countries amid warnings the NHS will face considerable pressure over the next few weeks.

Cases have risen sharply across the UK, by more than 50%, in the past seven days.

Since December 22, the UK has consistently reported daily case numbers upwards of 100,000.

Meanwhile, MPs are due to be briefed today on the "critical incident" declared at hospitals in Lincolnshire.

A leaked internal memo revealed there are "extreme and unprecedented" staffing shortages at Lincoln County and Pilgrim Hospitals, which are resulting in compromised care.

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust told its sites that it is "unable to maintain safe staffing levels", leading to "compromised care" at the heath care centres it covers.

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The trust's warning, revealed in an internal letter leaked to the Sunday Times, came amid a severe spike in hospitalisations across England, with hospitals recording an average coronavirus patient increase of 74% in the week to December 27.

In a statement to ITV News, the trust insisted "essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them" as it urged people "to come forward for care" if they require it.

ULHT Medical Director Dr Colin Farquharson said: “As a result of significant staffing pressures due to absence related to Covid-19, we are having to take additional steps to maintain services.

"Our staff continue to work exceptionally hard and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that in spite of the challenges faced, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them, so people should continue to come forward for care."

The trust runs County Hospital Louth, Lincoln County Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Skegness and District Hospital, and Grantham and District Hospital.