Video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee
Exclusive footage, filmed for ITV News Meridian, has revealed what intensive care staff at Southampton General Hospital are facing as they treat more Covid patients than ever before.
Medical teams on the frontline say they are angry at those who deny the scale of the problem and are pleading for the public to follow the lockdown rules to ease the pressure on services.
Southampton General Hospital is now treating 298 Covid patients, 44 of them are in intensive care.
The numbers are rising by the equivalent of a ward a day - that's up to 40 new patients every day.
Dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic is causing a great deal of pressure for staff and services in the NHS.
Parts of the National Health Service (NHS) have had to cancel many more routine hospital treatments.
The increasing numbers means the hospital has had to expand the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and medical staff from other departments are being moved to help out.
Dr Sanjay Gupta, the Clinical Lead for Critical Care at the hospital, says staff are trying to balance all their responsibilities for both patients with Covid-19 and patients with other conditions that are non-coronavirus related.
He says that the huge increase in Covid patients is now having an impact on other services at the hospital, such as cancer treatment and cardiac surgery.
A lot of non-urgent surgery has already been cancelled, and that’s to allow those staff to be redeployed into urgent areas. Not just ICU of course, but Covid wards.
We’re trying to press on and keep time critical stuff going such as people who are waiting to have a heart bypass operation or people who might die of cancer otherwise.
The combination of vaccines and a better understanding of Covid-19 means that fewer staff are shielding compared to last year.
However, by sharing a look behind-the-scenes, staff want to emphasise that it is the public who can help the most by obeying the lockdown and staying at home to protect themselves, others and the NHS.