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Number of Covid-19 patients in Derbyshire hospitals hits record high – Derbyshire Live

https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/local-news/number-covid-19-patients-derbyshire-4877845

The number of Covid-19 patients at Derbyshire hospitals has surged to record highs.

There are now 648 Covid patients in beds at Royal Derby Hospital, Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Queen’s Hospital in Burton.

Before Christmas, this figure stood at around 300, in mid-October it was 75 and for much of the summer very few Covid patients were being cared for on the wards.

Each of our hospitals is now seeing unparallelled numbers of Covid patients.

Royal Derby and Chesterfield Royal are currently treating more than double the number of patients they saw at the height of the first wave.

Derby and Burton hospital chiefs say the level of demand “continues to exceed our worst case scenario”.

The scale of the pressure on our local NHS services is significantly larger than at any previous point in the pandemic, with figures continuing to rise and strain on services growing.

There are believed to be a number of factors behind the surge in inpatients, including rapid rises in community cases caused by Christmas mixing, winter conditions and people growing tired of following Covid prevention guidance.

Hospital chiefs say the impact of the second strain of Covid-19, believed to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible, is said to be “not yet realised in the East Midlands, but expected mid-January”.

Dean Wallace, Derbyshire County Council’s public health director, said last week that he believed the rapid increases in community infections of the virus in Derby and Amber Valley were being caused by the new strain.

He had said national officials had not provided local leaders with evidence of the new strain’s spread through the county and city.

As of Monday, January 11, there are now 349 Covid-19 patients being treated at Royal Derby Hospital, more than double the number it was treating before Christmas.

The most Covid-19 patients the hospital saw at any one time during the first wave of the virus in April and at the start of the second wave in November was around 160.

There are now 141 Covid-19 patients in Queen’s Hospital in Burton, around the level it saw during its record-high in mid-November.

At the height of the first wave, it had fewer than 100 Covid-19 patients.

However, Gavin Boyle, chief executive of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, says that the number of Covid patients in intensive care remains lower than during the first peak, which he attributes to improved treatment.

Nevertheless, these levels are still far more than what the hospital would typically experience, even during the winter, and it has had to call on other staff to help support intensive care staff.

It is working to increase capacity in its intensive care unit.

Royal Derby Hospital has 19 patients in ICU and Queen’s Hospital has eight.

For Royal Derby, this is approaching its first peak high of nearly 30. Queen’s exceeded its peak of around 10 in November.

Meanwhile, Chesterfield Royal Hospital has also seen its number of Covid patients skyrocket since before Christmas.

As of January 11, it is treating 158 Covid-19 patients.

Before Christmas it had fewer than 40.

Its staff are treating 13 patients in intensive care with the virus. Its all-time high was 18 in late November.

At Derby and Burton’s hospitals, which last week surpassed 1,000 Covid-19 deaths, the pandemic has now caused a reduction in elective surgeries and treatments “to enable theatre staff to support the pressures of an expanded ICU on both sites”.

It has also cut back on outpatient clinics and diagnostic appointments.

This, it says, “compounds an already challenging position in terms of backlogs and waiting times”.

Mr Boyle said last week: “It is so important that everybody in our communities follows the hands, face, space guidelines and sticks to the lock down restrictions.

“I know that this is onerous, but it is incredibly important, particularly in this phase of our battle against Covid-19.

“We are all in this together. My actions affect you, your actions affect me.

“We need to follow these rules, not only for ourselves, but to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

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