Doctors at Guy’s and St Thomas’ have seen “small but steady increase” in the number of coronavirus patients needing treatment over the past two weeks.
The hospitals say they are facing an “extraordinary challenge” to meet the demands both of a second Covid wave, along with normal winter pressures.
In its latest update, presented to the board, the Trust had eleven confirmed Covid patients requiring the most serious treatment on a critical care ward.
Another twelve patients with the illness were being treated in general and acute wards as of October 22.
It is the latest sign of a second wave in Southwark, with new cases to 434 in the week to October 23.
“As well as preparing for the seasonal demands we expect over the coming winter months, the extraordinary challenge this year will be the combination of the usual ‘winter pressures’ and the uncertainty of how the COVID 19 second wave will impact our services and staff,” said top hospital boss Professor Ian Abbs.
He added: “It is clear that as a Trust, a health system and as a nation the next few months will place additional challenges on our journey to recovery.”
Officials also fear the additional impact of a potential ‘no deal’ exit from the European Union, when transition arrangements end from January 1.
If a trade deal is not struck, there is a risk of delays at the border to imported goods.
Since coronavirus, “the trust has very little updated guidance or communication on the progress on trade deals during the transition period,” said chief operating officer, Jon Findlay.
The hospitals have only been sent one letter from the Health and Social Care Department since the transition period began, he said.
“The resulting impacts of the pandemic response has raised some concerns with regards to availability of consumables, spare parts for equipment and some medicines,” he told the Trust’s board on Wednesday.