Great Western Hospital's chief executive has urged people to do their bit and help free up hospital beds over the winter.

In a message posted on Twitter, Kevin McNamara asked those who have family members ready to be discharged to do so before the weekend. He warned that an increase in traditional respiratory viruses as well as Covid-19 infections means the hospital desperately needs more beds.

He said: “We are under significant pressure due to the increasing number of Covid and non-Covid patients needing to be admitted to hospital.

“This has been increasing steadily over the past week.

“As we look ahead to the next few days and weeks, we expect this number to increase potentially quite significantly, creating even more demand for beds.

“If you have a loved one at GWH who is ready to go home, please support their discharge home before the weekend.”

Mr McNamara also urged people to call the 111 line first before ‘worrying, self-diagnosing or second-guessing’.