Another hospital in the South West has declared an “internal incident” in response to ongoing Covid pressures.
Bosses at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital say they are currently experiencing “considerable operational pressures”.
The trust has 121 patients who are positive for coronavirus, with four of those people being treated in intensive care.
It is the third hospital in the region to publicly declare an incident, following similar announcements at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.
The Royal United Hospital in Bath, meanwhile, has temporarily suspended visits to protect staff and patients.
Qadar Zada, who is the chief operating officer at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, said the “high levels of demand for services” are both Covid and non-Covid-related.
“In response to these pressures and in order to ensure we keep patients safe and support front line colleagues, we have been working in an escalated status as part of an internal incident,” he said.
“In doing so this enables us to access support from our partners and to create capacity across the system so that patients can go home safely or receive the onward care in the community they need.”
He urged members of the public to only visit the emergency departments at Gloucester and Cheltenham if they cannot be treated elsewhere.
He also encouraged everyone to get a Covid vaccine.
“Our own staff are not exempt from Covid or the need to self-isolate and staff absences are putting our services under further pressure,” he added.
“As we have come to expect, our staff continue to do an incredible job in challenging circumstances.
“Although the number of patients with Covid is increasing, those requiring intensive care or high dependency care has not.
“Our sickest patients remain those who are unvaccinated or have existing poor health and we urge anyone who has not yet been vaccinated or taken up the offer of a booster, to do so.”