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Consultant warns of rising Covid pressures on hospital staff

19 Sep 2021 3 minute read
Covid measures outside a ward at University Hospital of Wales. Photo Nation.Cymru

Intensive care consultant, Dr Chris Gough says hospital staff are “exhausted” having Covid and non-Covid patients to treat, as the surge of Covid cases in recent weeks has resulted in around one in five ITU beds being currently occupied by people suffering from the virus.

Dr Gough, from University Hospital of Wales, also “warned things will get worse before they get better” and called on the public to do all they can to protect themselves from coronavirus.

Speaking to ITV news, he said: “The staff are exhausted and really tired and have been working so hard, and it is busy. We’re busy with Covid and we are busy with non-Covid, and the two things combined mean it’s really busy and really pressured and pretty exhausting.”

“We haven’t just stopped having car crashes and people falling off ladders and doing all the other things that they do, and we’re still having to care for those people as well. And so, the two things combined, as well as a huge backlog of work that’s built up over the last year or so, means that we’re working busier than we’ve probably ever been before.”

He said the majority of those most unwell are unvaccinated people and called on the public to take steps to try and protect themselves.

“Certainly, we are getting very few patients who are fully vaccinated, unless they have other medical conditions that mean that maybe the vaccine would be less effective for them, but predominantly we are seeing people who are unvaccinated.”


“But also, that comes with a bit of a burden itself because we see people, very upset at their sickness, saying to us – ‘I wish I’d had my vaccine when I had the chance.’

“And, you know, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, but I think we all need to do what we can to try to increase the rates of vaccination because we will see the benefit.”

Dr Gough’s comments come following the Welsh Government’s announcement on Friday that it will be introducing Covid passes for those wanting to attend large events and nightclubs in Wales in an effort to contain the spread of the virus..

He added: “I really worry for going into the winter and getting the usual flu pressures and winter pressures on the hospital what that’s going to mean for us, and I think my prediction is that things will get worse before they get better, but I think we’ve got really trying months ahead.”

Re-iterating his message to the public that everyone has their part to play in preventing the transmission of the virus, he said:

“There’s nothing revolutionary or new to be done, it’s doing the same things well. And we know that if you wear a face mask, keep your distance do good hand sanitization and get your vaccine that you are doing what you can to protect yourself those around you and the community.”

Latest figures from Public Health Wales have confirmed 15 further deaths due to Covid and 2,717 new cases of the virus in the 24 hour’s up to 9am on Friday morning.

The national weekly case rate currently stands at 490.1 per 100,000 people in Wales, up from 487.6 on Thursday, ending a sequence of six days consecutive days of falling rates.

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Gill Jones
Gill Jones
2 years ago

Yes, hospital staff have been at the coalface throughout this pandemic and are absolutely exhausted as are care home staff and carers, yet GPs are cocooned, working from home. Having a daughter nursing at the coalface, the frustration felt by hospital staff is palpable when A & E departments are struggling to deal with patients who cannot see their GPs and understandably seek medical help at over-stretched hospitals. It’s time for GPs to step up to the mark!

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