Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth hospital has cancelled all planned operations including cancer ones for two days because of a lack of beds in intensive care.
The NHS hospital had to stop dozens of elective operations, including liver transplants, because of a surge in demand including Covid-related illnesses, The Independent has reported.
Its intensive care unit was full on Thursday with 10 patients elsewhere in the hospital potentially needing critical care soon.
It comes as Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospital staff were also told this week that operations were being cancelled.
According to the newspaper, the NHS has been hit by a surge in patients, with June being the busiest month ever for major hospital A&E departments across England.
At Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, there were 163 Covid-19 patients on Thursday, an increase of 36 in one day – and out of 107 intensive care patients, 28 were there because of coronavirus.
But elective operations were still carrying on at the trust’s other sites: Good Hope Hospital, Heartlands Hospital and Solihull Hospital.
Ian Sharp, deputy medical director at the University Hospitals Birmingham said: “The pressure at the front door, whether its people who should be able to access care elsewhere, or people with Covid, or people with other acute issues, flooding our front door makes it very difficult to function effectively.
“We don’t wish to cancel any operations, certainly not on the day of surgery or the day before, and especially not cancer operations, but the reality is that we have to sometimes reconsider cases that require ITU or a certain high level of post-operative care.”
Rachel Clarke, paliative care doctor Rachel Clarke said the news coming from Birmingham are “heartbreaking”.
“We TOLD you, Boris Johnson. We told you. You couldn’t care less,” she said.
She added: “If I hear one more government minister crow about “nearly two thirds” being double jabbed, I swear I will implode.
“They deliberately use the adults-only figure.
“Only 52% of the whole population has had both vaccinations. That’s 48% with potentially no protection against Covid.”
Meanwhile, coronavirus infections are continuing to rise across the England, with one in 95 people infecting, according to the Office for National Statistics.
ONS data revealed more than half a million people in private households in England are likely to have had Covid-19 in the week to July 10.
This is estimated to mean 577,700 people have tested positive, the highest number since the week to 6 February.
In Scotland around one in 90 people are estimated to have had Covid-19 in the week to July 10, whilst in Wales, the trend was described by the ONS as „uncertain”, with approximately one in 360 people testing positive.
Both Wales and Northern Ireland saw broadly unchanged numbers from the previous week, with NI estimated case prevalence being one in 290 people.