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NHS maternity wards ‘at breaking point’ as fresh Covid wave threatens to overwhelm health service

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A FRESH Covid wave has plunged NHS maternity wards to near “breaking point”, a health chief has warned.

Dr Edward Morris, the UK’s most senior gynaecologist, said that the NHS could soon be unable to deliver “the care it needs to” for women if cases continue to skyrocket.

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NHS staff at maternity wards could face ‘immense pressures’[/caption]

He told The Guardian that he had become increasingly concerned about how NHS staff were facing “immense pressures” with the rising number of cases.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over and we’re becoming increasingly concerned about the immense pressures facing our maternity staff this winter if the situation continues as it is,” Dr Morris said.

“We’re also aware of the many women and girls who are suffering with gynaecological conditions that are currently on extensive waiting lists with no end in sight.

“With the number of Covid-19 cases rising once more, the NHS could soon be in a situation where it is unable to deliver the care it needs to or deal with the huge backlog that has already built up.”

The NHS is currently battling with a huge backlog of Brits who are waiting for hospital treatment.

As of September, that number was at an astonishing 5.7million.


Dr Morris said that the latest surge in Covid infections could threaten to derail the efforts to tackle the backlog.

Senior doctors told The Guardian that operations are already being cancelled in some 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 skillset”.

“We know during the first wave of the pandemic, maternity staff were redeployed to different areas of the hospital, and we would urge NHS trusts and boards to avoid this at all costs,” Dr Morris said.

Today daily Covid cases in the UK rose by almost 40,000 in the last 24 hours.

A further 39,962 people tested positive for the virus – bringing the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 8,773,674.

A further 72 coronavirus deaths were also recorded, meaning the UK’s Covid death toll now stands at 139,533.

Weekends are usually quieter for reports of fresh infections and fatalities, but both remain on the rise.

Increasing case numbers have sparked fears another lockdown could be on the cards.

Sage scientist Professor Peter Openshaw has warned of a national shutdown over the festive period if measures aren’t taken.

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