Covid-19: Surge leaves key hospital services in crisis


The surge in Covid hospital cases has left key hospital services in crisis, doctors are warning.

NHS data showed specific hospitals were facing rising delays admitting extremely sick patients on to wards.

Meanwhile, the numbers facing year-long waits for routine treatments continue to rise – and is now over 100 times higher than it was before the pandemic.

Cancer experts are also warning the disruption to their services was “terrifying” and would cost lives.

Tough challenge

Reports claimed that some hospitals have resolved to cancel urgent operations. For example, London’s King’s College Hospital has stopped priority two treatments, which are those than need to be done within 28 days.

And Birmingham’s major hospital trust has temporarily suspended most liver transplants.

This development comes after a surge in Covid patients in recent weeks.

One in three patients in hospital have the virus – and at some sites it is over half.

Prof Stephen Powis, NHS England medical director said the NHS was facing an “exceptionally tough challenge”, adding services would continue to be under pressure until the virus was under control.

But he stressed non-Covid treatment was still happening – with three times as many diagnostic tests and twice as many operations being carried out than there was in the spring when the pandemic first hit.


Olusola Akintonde/BBC

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