It has taken a toll on doctors and nurses who admit they find it “difficult” to give care to unvaccinated people suffering with Covid while knowing it has an impact on other patients.
Nicki Credland, chairwoman of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses, told The Sunday Times: “All nurses understand they have to provide non-judgmental care. But what we find difficult is that giving care to patients who have chosen not to be vaccinated has a knock-on effect on other patients.
“We are still human beings and we still get angry at things that we think aren’t just. It does take a toll on nurses and I am also hearing about some patients who are being rude, disrespectful and even violent to some nurses trying to look after them.”
Dr Dhruv Parekh, a consultant at the University Hospitals Birmingham trust, said Covid patients stay in critical care significantly longer than other patients - meaning there are delays for others.
The doctor said it was “infuriating and frustrating” to see deaths which could have been prevented.
He added: “When you can’t provide the services you feel you need to for the rest of your community and other patients who’ve got life-limiting illnesses, there is a degree of frustration and anger. This is stopping us from doing really important work and helping the rest of the patients we need to be trying to help.”
The NHS waiting list has snowballed to 5.8million people by the end of September.
It comes as booster jabs are being accelerated this month.
The jabs are being extended to 18 to 39-year-olds and people will be able to get them three months after their second dose in a race against the coronavirus.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said putting the “booster programme on steroids” is the UK’s main form of defence.
He told the Commons he accepted the JCVI advice in full, adding: “With this new variant on the offensive these measures will protect more people more quickly and make us better protected as a nation.
“It represents a huge step up for our vaccination programme, almost doubling the number of people who will be able to get a booster dose to protect themselves and their loved ones.”