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HIGHEST FOR MONTHS: Covid-19 patients at hospital trust

HIGHEST FOR MONTHS: Covid-19 patients at hospital trust

The James Cook University Hospital, part of the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Image: Teesside Live

Bosses at the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust say the number of covid-19 patients receiving treatment is at the highest level since early this year.

Chief executive Sue Page said 81 patients were in hospital with covid-19 as at November 2, which was the highest number for several months.

There were also eight patients in critical care.

Two wards and one critical care unit continue to be devoted at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital to those with the virus.

A report provided for the trust’s board of directors said it should be noted that rates of infection in the community were currently higher than at other periods during the virus outbreak.

Professor Derek Bell, the joint chairman of the South Tees and North Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said he wished to encourage people to have their covid-19 vaccinations and also wear a mask “possibly more than the Government are urging us to do”.

Ada Burns, the trust’s deputy chairman, referred to the “scale of pressures” across the trust and at a meeting of the board of directors praised staff for their efforts, commitment and loyalty.

She said: “We are very mindful of a very difficult winter ahead, but we also take comfort and assurance from knowing we have such a strong team and a committed workforce right across the trust.”

She added: “It [coronavirus] causes additional operational stress on an already very busy hospital.

“It isn’t going away and I would say to everyone who lives in the area to get your jabs and flu vaccine to protect yourself.

“In case you need us we are here, but we would prefer that you don’t need us.”

Ms Page described how the South Tees trust continued to have a large backlog of patients to see because of the knock on effect of covid.

She said: “Be patient with us and we will get to you as soon as we possibly can.

“Staff have been extraordinarily busy over the summer, we’ve started the work to clear the number of patients waiting [for treatment], but we are going to need a few more months to get to the bottom of all that.”

Last month continued covid-related pressures on theatre and critical care capacity resulted in 58 non-urgent medical procedures having to be cancelled on the day and subsequently rescheduled.

This was a significant increase on the 31 that were cancelled in August.

Despite the cancellations another update provided for directors said that in the five weeks to October 13 more than 4,000 operations were delivered, of which over 3,000 were planned surgical procedures.

Meanwhile, during the same period 21,514 people attended emergency and urgent care services, with an extra 3,000 adults being seen compared to a year previously.

 

Words: Stuart Arnold, Local Democracy Reporter


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