It follows a rise in staff absence due to the need for self-isolation combined with an increase in the amount of patients being admitted to with Covid-19, as well as dealing with the usual winter pressures.
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He said: “GP practices, ambulance services and hospital trusts across the North East and north Cumbria continue to work under extreme and increasing pressure.
"This is due to rising staff absence levels due to sickness and the need for staff to self-isolate, increasing numbers of patients being admitted with Covid-19 and dealing with usual winter pressures.
“Our services and hospitals are doing all they can to manage these pressures and to minimise any impact the best they can.
“All staff across the health system are working very hard to care for patients during what is a very difficult time and we thank each of them for their continued effort, flexibility and dedication.
"Hospital trusts are continually reviewing their planned operations and procedures alongside caring for the sickest patients and ensuring infection prevention control measures can be adhered to.
"This a difficult balancing act and regrettably some planned operations and procedures may need to be postponed."
The medical director is also urging people to take up the offer of a Covid-19 vaccine as well as following the rules to reduce the spread of the virus.
He added: “The best way to support your NHS is by getting vaccinated, washing your hands regularly, wearing masks and keeping rooms ventilated when you do mix with family and friends.
“The NHS is here to care for people and people should not delay seeking medical advice and help if they need it, but we ask them to think carefully about which service they access.
"If we all do our bit, we can reduce hospital admissions and prevent our loved ones from becoming ill."