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Hospitals buckling under pressures as Covid cases approach a new peak

At least six health authorities have declared ‘critical incidents,’ with hospital staffing levels so low that priority treatments are under threat

HOSPITALS are buckling under the pressure of Covid-19 as the number of cases approaches a new peak, NHS managers warned today.

They spoke out as Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London predicted infection numbers falling in one to three weeks once the peak has been reached.

At least six health authorities have declared “critical incidents,” with hospital staffing levels so low that priority treatments are under threat.

Managers warned that the NHS was “in a state of crisis” despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledging on Monday that he would “make sure that we look after our NHS any way that we can.”

NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said that “a number of trusts across the country have declared internal critical incidents over the last few days.”

At United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, “extreme and unprecedented” staff shortages are expected to result in “compromised care.”

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay chief executive Aaron Cummins said that the trust had declared an “internal critical incident.”

In a message to staff, Mr Cummins said: “Sadly, despite everyone’s best efforts, many of our patients are still receiving a level of care and experience that falls below the level of standards we would like.”

A further 157,758 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded in England and Scotland at 9am on Monday, the government said.

Scotland saw its highest number of daily cases yet, but numbers for Wales and Northern Ireland had not been reported.

The government’s Office for National Statistics reported a total of 174,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificates.

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