THE critical care matron at Poole Hospital has asked people who refuse Covid vaccinations to think of others and seek further expert advice.

Eoin Scott said 80 per cent of those receiving intensive care treatment in Poole and Bournemouth had not been jabbed.

And because their stay in hospital was likely to be weeks or even months rather than days, they were denying others the opportunity to have urgent cancer or other surgery.

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Mr Scott explained: “They will be with us for a prolonged period and if we don’t have enough beds, other patients cannot come to us for care after an operation so it’s very likely to be delayed or postponed.”

He added: “These Covid patients are not elderly, they are fit people between 20-60 and suffering a single organ failure, inflammation of the lungs.”

For every one Covid bed taken up in critical care, up to ten other patients could be affected by delays from the knock-on effect.

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And Mr Scott ask the unvaccinated to consider others, not just themselves.

“You may have a family member who needs cancer surgery. Think of them. One in two of us will get cancer. That bed in intensive care could have gone to someone else.

"If you don't want to get a vaccination, please speak to a family doctor or pharmacist, someone with the knowledge to give you all the facts.

"The idea that this vaccination programme is unsafe or the development of the vaccines has been rushed through is just not true."

This week, Poole was operating at 175 per cent capacity in critical care and Bournemouth at 125 per cent.

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A number of measures have been put in place to try to ease the pressure, including sending patients to other hospitals and bringing nursing staff in from other departments.

“It’s a very different experience for some staff and they come here quite scared first of all, but they find it hugely rewarding.

“Intensive care is different. I liken it to asking a Typhoon pilot to take control of a nuclear submarine.”

Critical care staff remove any personal views from the picture when looking after someone who has refused to be vaccinated.

“We are frustrated and concerned but they will receive the same optimal care as anyone would,” Mr Scott said.