A NEWS report has revealed the stark reality of life in Blackburn Hospital’s intensive care unit, as more coronavirus patients died over the weekend than any other since the start of the pandemic.

Blackburn with Darwen currently has the highest covid-19 infection rate in England leading to both national and international media attention.

On Wednesday, the American news network CNN broadcasted a report from inside the Royal Blackburn Hospital’s stretched intensive care unit, where doctors and nurses spoke candidly about the harsh reality of dealing with the virus.

In the five-minute video, Matron in critical care Linda Gregson confirmed that the hospital had just reported it’s most deadly weekend since the start of the pandemic, with a third of all a patients being transferred onto the unit dying since Friday night.

She said: “With eight deaths, it has been the worst weekend we have had. And that is a problem because unfortunately you have a death and there is someone to go in that bed. You change the mattress, and it is next patient.

“We have given absolutely everything. And yet, we are being called lairs and we are being abused on the phone. There are nurses withdrawing treatment with patients and doing end of life on a zoom call and having a wife or a husband or a daughter on the other side of that camera crying and saying please hold my dad’s hand. The next conversation might be someone hurling abuse down the phone at them.

“You can’t read it [coronavirus] and I hate it. From the pit of my stomach, I hate it.”

Matron Gregson also revealed how in some cases doctors and nurses had been forced to end calls with a dying patient’s family members due to a lack of social distancing being observed on the other end of the line.

She said: “Unfortunately on several occasions we have had to stop the zoom calls because there have been numerous relatives in a room, not social distancing. The other day there were at least 45 in a room.”

The report stated that a third of covid-19 patients in the hospital’s ICU have died since last Friday, with 197 in total in the hospital, 30 new this weekend.

Reporter Nick Paton Walsh said it was ‘extraordinary’ just how frenetic and busy the ward was.

The report went on to slam the ‘angry public’ in Blackburn for disobeying the rules and placing extra pressure on the NHS.

Retired carpenter Jack Ratcliffe, who is currently in the hospital, said he has no idea where he contracted the virus or why people insist on breaking lockdown regulations.

He said: “It is ridiculous, I don’t understand why they do it. They have no idea of the consequences of it.”