SOUTHAMPTON'S biggest hospital has said they are dealing with unprecedented levels of demand as they continue to battle through the coronavirus pandemic.

University Hospital Southampton is urging city residents to help the NHS by "thinking about the best way to get the treatment you need", stating that the emergency department is currently "busier than ever".

It comes after the number of hospitalisations for the virus has risen 44 per cent in the last four weeks.

The hospital confirmed yesterday that it is currently caring for 55 coronavirus patients.

A spokesperson for University Hospital Southampton said: “We are currently experiencing unprecedented levels of demand across our hospital as we continue to deal with COVID while our emergency departments (ED) continue to be busier than ever. Our staff are working incredibly hard to care for everyone who needs our help.

“We are asking members of the community to help us by thinking about the best way to get the treatment you need; only come to ED in an emergency, consider visiting your local pharmacy and use 111 to help find the right service for you.

“Remember we are always here for you – always go to the emergency department for anything urgent or life threatening.”

As reported by the Daily Echo on Monday, University Hospital Southampton Trust was caring for 56 coronavirus patients in hospital as of August 24.

NHS England data shows the number of people being treated in hospital for Covid-19 was up from 47 on the same day the previous week, and 28 days ago there were 39.

The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised nationally has increased by 14 per cent in the last four weeks, while the number on mechanical ventilators has increased by 16 per cent.

The figures also show that 93 new Covid patients were admitted to hospital in University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust in the week to August 22. This was up from 71 in the previous seven days.

Experts have warned that September will be a key month for monitoring Covid-19 data.