The head of Liverpool's critical care units has provided an update on the covid situation currently facing the city's main hospitals.

NHS staff have been battling another wave of the virus in recent weeks, with major pressures falling on various departments as teams try to deal with mounting covid admissions and work through a huge backlog of procedures.

Dr Peter Hampshire is the clinical director of critical care and pain at Liverpool University Hospital Trust - which includes Aintree and the Royal Liverpool hospitals.

Read more: Pfizer booster third jab could be on the way for over 50s

He has spoken out recently about the pressures his team and other NHS staff are once again facing after 16 months fighting the pandemic.

In his latest update, he said staff were still struggling, but said they were now seeing the true impact of the life-saving vaccines in action.

He took to twitter to share some analysis of covid patients from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Programme (ICNARC), which he said shows how the vaccines have affected this wave, compared with other waves.

The Liverpool Echo sends newsletters on a wide range of topics - including our daily news bulletin, now going out three times a day.

There are others on what's on, politics, court news, Knowsley, Wirral, and arts & culture, as well as both Liverpool FC and Everton FC.

Signing up is free and it only takes a minute for you to get the biggest stories, sent straight to your inbox.

How to sign up for an Echo Email Update

1) Go to our dedicated newsletter page at this link.

2) Put your email in the box where indicated

3) Tick as many boxes as you like, for each newsletter you want.

4) Press Save changes and that's it!

He said: "ICNARC have published their analysis of patients with COVID admitted to ICU since 1st May, & compare these to previous admissions in the autumn/winter wave. This is the 1st time we've seen the effect of the vaccines on ICU admissions & there are definitely differences.

"The North West has admitted most patients since 1st May (mostly Greater Manchester).

"It will be interesting to see how numbers are affected over the next couple of weeks as community rates seem to be falling. People being admitted are younger (average age 49 compared to 60 in 2nd wave).

"But more from more deprived areas (-40%). Both due to the effect of vaccines, as take-up is lower in younger people & more deprived areas. Patients admitted are less likely to have chronic illness, probably due to younger age. Use of ventilation is lower, we are using CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.) initially."

Dr Hampshire said it was 'striking' the number of pregnant or recently pregnant women that have been admitted to ICU in this latest wave.

He added: "This probably is due to admission being more precautionary in this group, & again lower vaccine take-up. But shows the importance of getting the vaccine if you are pregnant."

Speaking about where this wave currently stands, he added: "Definitely not over yet, we are still admitting 3-4 patients a day with COVID to our ICUs, although the number in total has remained stable at approx 20.

"This is still a big (1/3rd) of our total Critical Care capacity and most are younger and unvaccinated. So again, get vaccinated."

The latest update on hospital admissions in Liverpool shows that on July 27, the number of people with the virus being cared for across the trust stood at 92.

This was an increase of around ten from the week before.

But as Dr Hampshire has pointed out, the number going on to need critical care has remained steady - with 14 patients in ICU at the latest data point.

As he explained, this is largely because many of those falling ill are younger and often unvaccinated.

Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here