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Coronavirus: Rise in Covid-19 patients sees operations cancelled

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image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe trust which runs the Bristol Royal Infirmary says it is close to winter pressure levels

A "high proportion" of planned operations at a city hospital have been cancelled due to record numbers of coronavirus patients.

The NHS trust which runs Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) has told board members it is under "significant pressure".

Chief executive Robert Woolley added: "We are in excess of the first wave, without doubt."

Only urgent treatment is going ahead such as cancer surgery, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Mr Woolley, of the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHBT) said pressure on critical care facilities and ward beds had led to cancellations.

"We are making every effort to make as much elective planned care as we can but it is true that we are seeing a higher proportion of cancellations of surgery than we would like.

"We have very little in the way of lower priority elective care going on, particularly at the BRI.

"We are maintaining as much of the high-priority elective surgery, particular cancer surgery, as we can," he added.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionDealing with coronavirus patients is having an impact on elective surgeries at Bristol Royal Infirmary

The Nightingale Bristol hospital is being used for children's day case and outpatient procedures and the trust is also commissioning 300 community beds to help discharge patients more effectively.

Mr Woolley also said that the trust has increased the number of patients assigned to each nurse in general wards from six to 10 during the day.

The new ratio, which applies at the BRI and Weston General Hospital, has gone up during night shifts from eight to 12.

The chief executive reassured board members that it is was not a permanent measure and was introduced so that more nurses could care for coronavirus patients on ventilators.

"I know that has created some concern across the trust but it has been done as a very temporary measure in a very considered way, taking account of the balance of safety risks for patients and staff right across the trust," he added.

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