South West hospitals under increasing pressure as coronavirus patients continue to rise

Report from Charlotte Gay

The latest figures from the NHS reveal the increasing pressure Covid-19 is putting on the region's hospitals.

The Bristol Royal Infirmary has seen the number of patients needing critical care for coronavirus rise from 207 to 248 in the past week.

Doctors working in the A&E department are appealing to people not to go there unless it is a medical emergency and instead use alternative care facilities available.

Rebecca Thorpe, an Emergency Department Consultant at the BRI, said: "The hospital is busy with cases of coronavirus.

"We've had to use different areas of the hospital to look after patients and that has had an effect on the emergency department in that occasionally we will be unable to offload patients immediately but we have put measures in place so that those patients in ambulances are kept safe."

Doctors working in the A and E at the Bristol Royal Infirmary are urging people to only go there if it is a medical emergency. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Royal United Hospital in Bath, which is one of five in our region being helped out by the military, has seen a big increase in patients - from 74 last week to 126, which is a rise of around 70 per cent.

At Southmead, meanwhile, the number of Covid patients has increased by around a fifth (20 per cent in the last week - from 153 patients to 182.)

At Musgrove Park in Taunton, there has also been an increase - they are now treating 137 patients with Covid, up from 90 last week.

The Gloucestershire Royal also remains at high levels, with 225 patients.

But there is better news at Swindon's Great Western Hospital, where the number of Covid patients has dropped to 121 from 133 a week ago. 

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Elsewhere, Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has seen an increase in the number of Covid patients - from 72 last week to 110 (as of Tuesday) - a rise of more than 50 per cent.

At Exeter's Nightingale Hospital, where military personnel are now providing extra support, the figure has risen from 34 to 44.At Torbay, there has been an increase from 25 to 34.

While at the Royal Cornwall Hospital there was a slight drop from 83 to 81, and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital - another drop - from 99 to 95.

Dorset County Hospital saw a slight increase from 79 to 83.

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