The move came as health chiefs warned that action needed to be taken over fears daily coronavirus admissions could reach 1,000 within several days whilst tens of thousands of front line workers have been told to self-isolate increasing staff absence rates. Among the hospitals deciding to cancel operations included University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust which stopped non-critical surgery at Derriford Hospital.
Kevin Baber, chief operating officer said this “due to a growing number of Covid patients and a need to ensure we can keep everyone safe”.
Meanwhile, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust was forced to postpone some non-urgent procedures stressing the city was facing a “serious situation” following a rise in cases in the region.
In a message sent to staff on Friday, bosses said the action was needed “to create capacity for emergency patients”.
The message also raised concerns about spread within the hospital, in which patients test positive for COVID-19 following admission.
Other hospitals across the country have also issued warnings.
“We’re absolutely packed,” a critical care nurse in Lancashire told The Sunday Times. “I don’t even want to think about where we’ll be in two weeks’ time.”
It comes as scientists at the Medical Research Council warned daily coronavirus deaths could reach up to 690 this month as ONS data recorded a 50 percent weekly rise in infections.
The Council also estimated that 47,000 people in England were contracting COVID-19 every day.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director stressed the NHS remained open for all patients but stressed that keeping coronavirus infections under control is the key to other patients getting the treatment they need.
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8:45 update: Scotland to hold inquiry into COVID-19 handling
MSPs will hold an inquiry into the Scottish Parliament’s working practices during the Coronavirus pandemic with a view to making permanent changes to its rules.
Holyrood’s Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee will examine procedures over the past seven months and is calling for views to be submitted.
The inquiry will recommend changes to parliamentary standing orders to allow laws to continue to be enacted in future “challenging situations”.
It will also look into the Parliament’s ability to scrutinise the work of the Scottish Government in the context of COVID-19.
8am update: Business leaders warn of economic chaos if more support isn’t offered
Existing economic support packages will not be enough to stave off mass redundancies and business failures during the coronavirus crisis, bosses have warned Boris Johnson.
The British Chambers of Commerce told the Prime Minister that any new lockdown restrictions must come with “truly commensurate” financial support or risk “catastrophic economic consequences”.
In a letter to Mr Johnson on Saturday, they raised particular concern about the Tier 2 restrictions imposed on London and other areas on Saturday because they “dramatically” hamper businesses without extra support.
The Government said all restrictions “are guided by the science” in order to bring down transmission rates and stressed that it had introduced a £200 billion support package.