Great Western Hospital is caring for nearly 120 Covid patients while dealing with growing winter pressures. 

GWH’s chief executive Kevin McNamara said the NHS is struggling due to a rapid rise of coronavirus cases.  

The hospital was caring for 118 patients with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 yesterday. 

Posting a video on Twitter, Mr McNamara said: “That’s more than the peak we saw in April, when we had 95 Covid patients, so we’re busier with Covid patients than we’ve ever been. 

“But it’s not all about Covid of course. Unlike back in March and April, we’re also caring for patients with some of the normal conditions we see in winter, along with those needing emergency care, those who unfortunately have has to wait for treatments since the first wave, and those we are vaccinating against Covid. 

“I’ve been asked questions many times about how busy we are compared to previous and seen comments that suggest that the NHS isn’t actually struggling and that’s wrong.” 

Mr McNamara said the hospital might have to cancel non-urgent treatment if the increase continues.  

He said: “Anyone affected by this will be notified directly.  

“So please continue to come to your appointment unless we notify you otherwise.  

“Our staff have worked exceptionally hard for a very long period, and by the time we come out of this lockdown it will be around a year since we treated our very first Covid patient.” 

The emergency department and the urgent care centre are currently extremely busy. 

“The hospital is very busy and will continue to be so until we get this virus under control,” he said. 

“Our staff are working tirelessly to care for many patients and will continue to need your support so they can be available to care for you should you need it.” 

He said: “There’s light at the end of the tunnel and with the vaccine being rolled out, which gives us hope, but it’s only by us all playing our part by staying at home that we will bring the virus under control.”