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Queen’s and King George hospital’s critical care units at maximum capacity

Both hospitals are hiring 50 new ward clerks to help relieve pressure on nurses 

Critical care services at Queen’s and King George hospitals are at maximum capacity. 

The trust responsible for both facilities has published a weekly report showing critical care units reached an occupancy rate of 100 per cent by Wednesday, 8 December. 

The number of Covid patients at both sites has risen from 60 to 80 in the last two weeks while 19 more Covid patients have died during that same period. 

“Our critical care occupancy varies hour-to-hour and at the time the data was collected, we were at 100 per cent,” said Chief Medical Officer Magda Smith. 

“We regularly review our patients to ensure those who need to be in critical care can be treated there and we support other patients to be discharged onto wards where they can get the care they need.

“Plans are in place to increase our critical care capacity during the winter months.

“The vast majority of Covid-19 patients we see in critical care have not been fully vaccinated and I urge people to get jabbed.”

The report states 1,749 people have died from Covid at both hospitals since the pandemic began while nearly 6,000 have recovered and been discharged. 

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) has announced it intends to hire 50 new ward clerks over the coming months. 

They are expected to help relieve pressure on nurses by admitting patients, speaking with their families and booking appointments. 

The trust said this will “help with the discharging of patients and improve the flow throughout our hospitals”.

Nationally, it has been revealed staff answered the highest number of emergency calls for any November on record this year. 

NHS England said workers also saw more than two million patients at emergency departments and urgent treatment centres, up by half a million on the same time last year. 

“These figures show that NHS staff are continuing to address the COVID backlog in the face of sustained pressure on urgent and emergency care,” said NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis.

“As we head into a very challenging winter, we are working with partners in social care to get as many patients who are fit to do so home for Christmas, which is right for them and their families as well as freeing up beds.

“There is much we do not know about Omicron but experts advise that vaccines will still help in our fight against the virus.

“Thanks to the efforts of staff and volunteers the NHS COVID vaccination programme has delivered more than 100 million jabs, so do come forward when it is your turn.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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