Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool will today begin taking in adult Covid-19 patients as the pressure on the region's health service intensifies.From today, the specialist children's hospital in East Prescott Road will begin taking a small number of adults who are suffering with the virus.The hospital did the same in the first wave of the pandemic and says the move will not in any way affect its ability to care for children and young people - who remain its primary responsibility and priority.But the move is a reminder of just how much pressure the NHS is now under as the third wave of the virus takes hold in hospitals.At Liverpool's main University Hospitals Trust, things have taken a turn for the worse in recent days.Extra critical care beds and non-critical CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) beds at both Aintree and The Royal Liverpool with both said to now be nearly full with patients.
On Saturday night, one nurse working at Aintree Hospital said the situation there was the worst they had seen since the start of the pandemic.The Trust had been offering help and space to other struggling hospitals in the region but has been unable to do this for several days now because of the number of local patients arriving.The hope is that the extra beds at Alder Hey, which will be supported by ICU clinicians from Liverpool's main trust, will help alleviate some pressure - even if just for a few day
A spokesperson for Alder Hey said: "Safe care for our children and young people remains our primary responsibility and priority."Our plans for the immediate future guarantee access to the levels of critical care beds for children and young people that we have had running over the last few months, with an ability to flex up to meet any increase in demand needed. Staffing levels will remain in line with the national guidelines.
"At the same time, we do wish to play our part in addressing the current pressing challenges we are seeing across Cheshire and Merseyside. We will be there to help our colleagues during this emergency."From Monday, as agreed with colleagues across the region, we are ready to take a small number of adults in Critical Care (a maximum of nine in total at any one time)."