Great Western Hospital consultant Mark Juniper has made a video appeal for people to help protect the vulnerable amid the pandemic.
Mr Juniper, a consultant consultant in respiratory and intensive care medicine in Swindon for more than 20 years, appears in a video shared on Swindon Borough Council's Twitter feed.
In it, he says: "Chest problems are always more common over the winter months, and intensive care units have always been needed to treat the sickest fo these patients, but this year has been exceptional due to covid-19, which is causing severe health concerns in a large number of people.
"The intensive care unit in Swindon previously had the equipment and staff to provide ventilation for eight patients. To support the increase in covid-19 admissions, we have increased this to sixteen.
"Covid-19 is also affecting some of our staff so we are having to work flexibly to ensure that patients receive the care they need.
"We are already working above our original capacity with 10 covid patients in the intensive care unit.
"The respiratory ward is also busier than it has ever been before, with multiple covid patients needing breathing support and oxygen. This is in addition to the usual chest conditions we see every winter."
The consultant adds: "On top of this, we have to be ready to provide care to people with other life-threatening conditions who might need intensive care. Our priority is to care for all of our patients safely.
"Whilst you might think that you are low-risk, others around you are not, and we all need to make our sacrifices to protect vulnerable loved ones.
"Even if you might not need our services, others will.
"Please, follow the current rules. Stay at home, wash your hands regularly. If you have to go out, cover your face and ensure you stay a safe distance from other people.
"Help us so that we can help you. Thank you."