Critical incident declared by NHS in Nottinghamshire as patients wait for beds and Covid hits staff

The NHS in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire has declared a critical incident, referring to "continued and unprecedented" pressure on its services.

A 'critical incident' is declared when a service loses its ability to deliver critical healthcare.

The Integrated Care Board (ICB) announced that there are "significant levels of Covid-19" in hospitals across the city and county, alongside high numbers of patients arriving with other conditions.

They say the incident is an indication of the "serious pressure the system is facing".

In a statement the trust said they were continuing to treat significant numbers of patients with Covid-19 alongside high numbers of patients with other conditions.

There are currently long waiting times for beds, staff off sick with Covid, and a backlog in patients being discharged, which means some non-urgent operations will be postponed.

The statement went on to say, "Our aim is to prioritise patients with the highest level of need and ensure that we continue to be able to manage emergency care.

"This means that some non-urgent operations, where patients require a stay in hospital, will be postponed to prioritise patients with the most urgent clinical need."

Anyone who is not contacted directly about an operation being postponed is urged to continue to attend appointments as usual.

Last Thursday the health service in Derbyshire confirmed a critical incident during the pressures of the heatwave. Health bosses there agreed to buy care home beds from private providers to free up space in hospitals.

Earlier this month it was revealed patients could be placed in temporary structures outside two West Midlands hospitals in a bid to solve the region's ambulance crisis.