The NHS in Shropshire has declared a critical incident over “continued and unprecedented” pressure on its services.
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin integrated care system (ICS) said it was experiencing significant levels of demand for all health and care services across the county.
The move means that some nonurgent operations that require patients to stay in hospital will be postponed to prioritise those with the most urgent clinical need.
Demand has been pushed up by “relatively high” numbers of patients in hospital and community beds with Covid, as well as large numbers of patients arriving at hospitals for other conditions.
“Additional challenges” have also been caused by the continued heatwave, the ICS said, leading to “significant strain” on the system.
The critical incident affects four NHS trusts within the county. They are: the Shrewsbury and Telford hospital NHS trust, the Robert Jones Agnes Hunt orthopaedic hospital NHS foundation trust, Midlands Partnership NHS foundation trust and Shropshire community health NHS trust.
Patients who are not contacted directly about an operation being postponed have been asked to attend appointments as usual.