A Covid FRESH wave has plunged NHS maternity hospitals to near ‘breaking point’, a health chief has warned.
Dr Edward Morris, the UK’s most experienced gynecologist, said the NHS may soon be unable to provide “the care it needs” for women if cases continue to skyrocket.
He told the Guardian he was increasingly concerned about how NHS staff were dealing with “immense pressure” with the growing number of cases.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over and we are increasingly concerned about the immense pressures our maternity staff face this winter if the situation continues as it is,” said Dr Morris .
“We are also aware of the many women and girls who suffer from gynecological problems who are currently on long waiting lists with no end in sight.
‘With the number of Covid-19 cases increasing once again, the NHS may soon find itself in a situation where it will not be able to provide the care it needs or cope with the huge backlog that has already accumulated. “
The NHS is currently grappling with a huge backlog of Britons awaiting treatment in hospital.
In September, that number had risen to a staggering 5.7 million.
Dr Morris said the latest wave of Covid infections could threaten to derail efforts to tackle the backlog.
Senior medics told the Guardian operations were already canceled in parts of the country.
Dr Morris also urged NHS bosses not to redeploy maternity staff to other departments in hospitals as they are irreplaceable due to their ‘specialist skills’.
‘We know that during the first wave of the pandemic maternity staff were redeployed to different areas of the hospital, and we urge NHS trusts and councils to avoid this at all costs,’ Dr Morris said. .
Today, daily Covid cases in the UK have increased by almost 40,000 in the past 24 hours.
Another 39,962 people have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 8,773,674.
Another 72 coronavirus deaths have also been recorded, meaning the UK Covid death toll now stands at 139,533.
Weekends are generally quieter for reports of new infections and deaths, but both remain on the rise.
The rise in the number of cases has raised fears that another lockdown is on the cards.
Wise scientist Professor Peter Openshaw has warned of a nationwide shutdown over the holiday season if action is not taken.