Government must step in to help 'desperate' Norwich hospital, says MP

Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, spoke out in favour of rent unions. Photo: Neil Didsbu

Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, has sent a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock demanding urgent government action over the 'healthcare crisis' at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

A Norwich MP has called upon the government to take immediate action to help the city's hospital, which he says is "near its breaking point".

Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South, has written to health secretary Matt Hancock calling for immediate measures to address the "desperate" situation at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

On Friday it emerged that military personnel are being deployed to the hospital to help it cope with the volume of coronavirus patients staff there are treating.

And 200 council staff have also been asked to help with back office roles and jobs like feeding patients and taking observations on wards to help lighten the load.

In a letter to the health secretary, Mr Lewis said hospital workers are "going above and beyond to serve those with healthcare needs", but have been "pushed beyond breaking point".

Among the Norwich MP's demands were calls for drafting private hospitals and staff to support the NHS and the stepping up of efforts to vaccinate all health and social care workers.

Mr Lewis said: "I feel so sorry for the wonderful staff at our NNUH and everyone in health and social care in our city. They are at the sharp end of what has become a quite terrifying local healthcare crisis.

"So much of this trauma, illness and death was avoidable. Per capita, the UK has the highest Covid death rate in the world. As a spokesperson for the Health Foundation think tank said last week, 'we've run our system too hot for too many years' which has 'left us vulnerable'.

"But it's still not too late for the government to take immediate action which could make a big difference to staff and patients at NNUH and other hospitals."

The NNUH said on Friday it had discharged 200 Covid patients in a week, while figures show that coronavirus cases continue to fall in Norfolk and Waveney.

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But hospital staff have spoken of the pressure continuing to increase with more than 250 patients still being treated at the NNUH, including 30 in intensive care.

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