Preston Royal Hospital urge everyone to get Covid vaccine as restrictions lifted in Freedom Day

Video report by Mel Barham

Hospital consultants at one of the region's hospitals are pleading with residents to get their vaccine as they experience their busiest period all year.

It comes as many of the remaining Covid restrictions are lifted on so-called Freedom Day, as seven areas of the North West are struggling with record numbers of cases.

The Royal Preston Hospital says it is seeing "younger and fitter" patients coming into its emergency wards to be treated for the virus.

Of those being treated for Covid at the Royal Preston Hospital:

Respiratory consultant Dr Mohammed Munavvar says: "We are mindful of the fact that the increase in Covid-related infections can potentially lead to increase in hospitalistation, however we are also hopeful that will not occur because of the concerted efforts to improve vaccination uptake in this region.

"Because it is very clear, looking at our data, that amongst those people who have become critically ill after acquiring Covid, nearly 70% have not had even a single dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and about 25% have had just one dose."

He added: "In this period we are seeing younger and fitter people. The main thing is almost all of them have not had a single dose of the vaccine so they are coming in seriously ill, deteriorating rapidly, requiring treatment in respiratory critical care."