DOCTORS have reportedly warned of an "extremely unsafe situation" at Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Consultants are said to have warned about services at the Brighton hospital in a letter to their chief executive.

The letter said some surgery should be diverted elsewhere and that nurses are suffering with post-traumatic stress and depression, according to reports.

Hospital management is aware of the pressures described in the letter, the BBC said.

While David Liley, chief executive of the patients' group Healthwatch Brighton and Hove told the broadcaster: "There seems to be a rift emerging between the people that deliver the care and the NHS managers.

"If consultants and doctors are not happy, then we need to resolve that."

A document seen by the BBC raises concerns about the hospital, including a "downward spiral many experienced staff."

The document described "failing" management that is "dysfunctional, uncaring and incompetent".

It comes after Covid-19 cases in Brighton and Hove have dropped for the second week in a row.

In the seven days up to September 16, there were 724 confirmed new cases of Covid-19 in the city - down 18 per cent on the previous seven days.

It means the city now has a weekly rate of 247.8 per 100,000 residents, lower than the South East at 259.8 per 100,000 and lower than the rate for England at 308.3 per 100,000.

However, despite the continued drop in cases, Brighton and Hove City Council warned the presence of the virus "remains too high for comfort."

Dr Rob Haigh, medical director at University Hospitals Sussex, said patient safety is their "number one priority" and stated there has been a good relationship between staff and management through these "challenging times".

Dr Haigh said: “Patient safety is always our number one priority. Patients waiting for surgery are reviewed on a daily basis by senior clinicians to ensure the most urgent are seen first."

Dr Haigh added that there has continued to be a "positive relationship" between clinical staff and trust management.

He said: “Throughout these challenging times there has continued to be a positive relationship between clinical staff and Trust management.

“We will continue to meet with our staff to listen and act upon any concerns raised as well as looking at ways we can support staff and help ease the unprecedented pressures our hard working teams have been facing since the pandemic began."

Royal Sussex County Hospital have also recruited 100 nurses recently as part of an international recruitment drive.