COVID admission rate at Pinderfields Hospital falls to below one patient per day

Hospital admissions of patients with COVID-19 have now fallen to below one per day in Wakefield.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 4:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 4:54 pm
The number of patients being treated for coronavirus at Pinderfields hit a peak of 170 in April.

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, which runs Pinderfields Hospital in the city, said it was treating "between three and four" new in-patients a week for coronavirus.

The trust also runs Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals, but all local people who need medical treatment for the virus have been cared for at Pinderfields throughout the pandemic.

A peak of 170 patients were being treated in quarantine at Pinderfields when the virus was at its height in April.

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There have been further outbreaks of the virus at workplaces in Normanton and Ossett in the last week.

That number has gradually fallen since and now stands at "between eight and 10" at any one time, the NHS says.

The trust's chief executive Martin Barkley said local hospitals were now able to concentrate more on routine patient care than they were able to previously.

But he warned there may be more challenges for the NHS next winter, as other flu and virus bugs may be confused for coronavirus.

Speaking at a meeting of the trust board, Mr Barkley said: "We're probably now taking three or four new in-patients every week who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Mr Barkley said some patients with flu may have to be cared for "as if they have coronavirus" this winter, because of difficulties distinguishing between the two.

"That's less than one new patient per day, which is absolutely great news.

"The key priority for us now is to get on with non-COVID work."

He added: "Life is probably going to get pretty complicated when the usual viruses emerge in late autumn and early winter.

"Differentiating those from COVID is going to be difficult.

"We're probably going to have quite a few beds occupied by those patients, who we may have to treat as though they've got COVID."

Figures released by Mid Yorkshire showed that as of July 1, 338 staff were still off work with COVID-related absences.

That accounts for just under half of all sickness within the trust.

Local Democracy Reporting Service