Hospitals across London are facing the biggest health crisis of a generation and Croydon University Hospital is among the most severely impacted by Covid-19.

Thousands of people in England have tested positive for coronavirus with more than 700 dying as a result of the virus.

And today more than 6,200 people with coronavirus are in hospitals across England.

Croydon University Hospital is one of the worst hit in London.

As of Thursday (March 26) there had been 27 deaths at the hospital in London Road.

We spoke to Dr Lydia Osei-Boateng who was taken to the hospital by ambulance on Saturday (March 21) where she was told she has the virus.

She said she was struck with how calm the hospital was and she suspects people who may have normally come to the hospital are staying away.

But she was not admitted to a ward as she was not deemed unwell enough and returned home after six hours.

While many of the people who are dying from this virus are the elderly or those with underlying health conditions it does not mean that young people are not at risk.

And this fact is brought home by what Dr Osei-Boateng was told when she was at the hospital.

She said: “It’s something we’ve never ever dealt with. I never thought I would experience something like this – as a doctor, mother, wife.

“The lady who discharged me said they are getting a lot of young people with coronavirus, she had a 30-year-old asthmatic dying last week, she said there was a 24-year-old coming in when I was there.

“We need to stop the spread, everyone needs to stay home, it is the only way.”

The number of deaths at the hospital needs to be looked at in relation to the catchment area of the hospital.

Croydon is London’s second most populated borough after Southwark with 385,346 residents, according to Croydon Council’s director of public health report 2019.

A document from the Croydon Health Services Trust in 2017 described the catchment area as being as big as Bristol

And while Croydon has the highest youth population it also has a higher than average population of older people.

It is likely that the pandemic is yet to peak and the hospital is preparing for a surge in cases.

This week, Elaine Clancy, chief nurse at the trust said: “In line with national NHS guidance, we are scaling-back non-urgent appointments and looking at new ways in which we can run routine appointments with patients by phone or screen.

“We are also dramatically increasing our critical care capacity to provide life-dependent respiratory support to patients when needed.”