Critical care beds at RUH Bath reach full capacity
Critical care beds at Bath’s main hospital have reached full capacity.
"Emergency response" protocols have been brought in due to an "incredibly busy and pressurised" part of the year, according to Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The CCG said a sustained increase in seriously ill coronavirus patients, coronavirus-related staff absences, reduced clinical space due to social distancing regulations and a need to continue providing safe urgent and emergency care, has led to all parts of the health and care system facing "significant pressure".
The latest figures from NHS England, which collects and publishes data on Covid-19 patient admissions across the country, show the Royal United Hospital reached full occupancy in its critical care wards in the week to 10 January.
The data also shows the number of patients with coronavirus at the hospital reached 116 on 14 January - the highest level recorded at any time during the pandemic.
The surge in admissions has prompted hospital bosses to consider expanding its provision of critical care beds.
The hospital has already confirmed that some non-emergency operations have been postponed to help relieve existing pressures.
Addressing the rise in Covid-19 patients in a recent video on its YouTube channel, the hospital’s chief executive Cara Charles-Banks warned: "This is significantly higher than at the peak in the early summer last year."
Clinical chair at the CCG Dr Andrew Girdher said: “We’re appealing for everyone to get behind us and play their part, whether it’s being there to take relatives home from hospital in a timely manner, using NHS 111 for non-life-threatening emergencies instead of going straight to hospital, or just following the latest social distancing guidelines.
“Now is also the time for people to think twice about how their own actions, such as exercising outdoors in icy weather or carrying out DIY without the correct safety equipment, could inadvertently put avoidable pressure on the NHS. Even when you are fit and healthy, you can still play your part.”