Staff issue plea as Derriford Hospital 'rammed' amid rise in younger patients

Credit: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Hospital staff in the West Country are urging the public to follow coronavirus restrictions due to the growing pressure they are facing as a result of the pandemic.

In a video released by University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, staff at Derriford Hospital said the hospital is "rammed" and voiced concern over how they will cope in the coming months.

Jude Fewings, therapy lead for covid respiratory, rehab and discharge team, said there are more patients being admitted "now than ever" and they are "much younger and much more ill" than during the first wave.

Derriford Hospital.

Peter Branfield, lead nurse of critical care, said: "We've said this before, please, we need everybody to play their bit.

"This feels worse than our first wave back in April. We are very very concerned how we are going to cope in the next month, the next two months."

The video also spoke to 'red zone nurses', including Jamie who said: "The hospital is just rammed, we are working at the most we can work at. Our ward is just getting busier day by day."

The plea for people to stay at home comes as the South West recorded its highest ever death toll on Wednesday 20 January.

Kate Tantam, who is a Specialist Sister in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital, said: "We are all working incredibly hard to make space for you and your loved ones if you need us.

"We need you to continue to support hands, face, space and lockdown in the South-West.

The Royal College for Nursing (RCN) says staff are very exhausted.

The RCN also says staff have felt there are not enough of them at times, as some have had to take time out due to sickness or to shield or isolate.

The body is calling on the government to help by increasing the pay nurses receive to help attract more people to the profession.

This week military personnel have been brought in to work in several West Country hospitals to support NHS staff during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Exeter's Nightingale Hospital is one of those in the region where the military has been brought in to help. Credit: ITV News West Country

Lucy Muchina, the regional director for the RCN in the South West, says the move is a good thing.

"The feedback I have received is that staff are happy, they welcome the support.

"But what we need to realise is for the specialist support that is needed, especially in terms of the nursing care, that still has to be done by the staff that is trained to do that.

"But every help is welcome and they are happy that has come through.

Read more: