Watch: Coronavirus - Nottingham hospitals postpone some non-urgent surgeries amid 'dramatic rise' in COVID admissions
Hospitals in Nottingham have postponed some non-urgent surgeries due to a "dramatic rise" in coronavirus admissions, the local NHS trust has said.
Tracy Taylor, the CEO of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said it had been a "difficult decision" to postpone some appointments, but added there are more than 200 patients with COVID-19 in hospital in the city - and "everyday this is increasing by nearly another full ward of people".
Ms Taylor said: "Some of these patients, 16 at the time of writing, are sadly very unwell and receiving treatment by our critical care staff.
"Some more have also died with the virus in the last few days.
"This surge is now at levels similar to April and is combining with our normal winter emergency pressures.
"Unfortunately, this means that we've had to make this difficult decision to pause some of the treatment we offer."
The trust says that some appointments have been postponed until 6 November.
Ms Taylor added: "This is not a decision we have taken lightly but we need to ensure we have the beds and staff available to care for those in urgent need during this surge of COVID-19.
"I realise that some of you reading this will have received a message from our teams postponing your appointment or that of family or friends. I am so sorry that we have had to make this decision, but it is necessary to ensure we can continue to keep everyone in the hospital safe while we deal with this virus."
Patients in the city have been urged to attend A&E if they need to or call 111.
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Nottingham has faced a substantial rise in the number of cases in the area recently.
It was reported last week that the rate of new COVID-19 infections in the East Midlands had jumped from 48.8 cases per 100,000 people to 164.1 in the preceding fortnight.
Earlier on Thursday, city officials confirmed that they were talking with the government over a potential move into the highest tier of restrictions.
Discussions are also under way about placing Warrington and West Yorkshire into Tier 3, while the health secretary announced Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Slough will move into Tier 2.
Nottingham City Council gave an update on its own talks on Thursday evening, saying: "Leaders continue to stress the need to protect the health and wellbeing of the population as well as local businesses."
Hospitals in Liverpool, a region in Tier 3, are also seeing a rise in coronavirus admissions, with officials saying doctors are now seeing more coronavirus patients than in the first peak in April.
Dr Tristan Cope, the medical director at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Royal, Aintree and Broadgreen hospitals, said a "huge strain" had been placed on staff - and added that numbers were still rising.
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