Increase in Covid patients being treated at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield

The end of self-isolation is thought to be behind a rise in the number of coronavirus patients being treated in hospital in Wakefield.

By David Spereall
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 3:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2022, 3:30 pm

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said it currently had just over 50 people on its Covid ward at Pinderfields Hospital.

The trust said that was an increase from a low point of around 30 in February, which itself was a huge drop from a peak of 157 in January, when the Omicron variant was sweeping the country.

The majority of Covid patients in the NHS hospital do not need intensive care however, with the virus having become milder.

Covid admissions to hospital have fluctuated massively in recent months, although the number of people dying or needing intensive care remains low

In an interview on Wednesday, Mid Yorkshire chief executive Len Richards said: "We are seeing a little bit of an uptick in the prevalence of Covid in the community and we’re also seeing that in the numbers in the hospital.

"We think that’s probably related to the reduction in restrictions.

"Covid is still there in our community and if we’re not observing social distancing, handwashing and wearing a mask then inevitably it will spread.

"We’re seeing a bit of that at the moment."

Trust chief Len Richards thanked NHS staff for their "flexibility" over the winter.

Mr Richards said the trust was "managing" the current levels of Covid well and that protocols and testing were still in place across all three hospitals it runs.

And he praised staff for their efforts over the winter, which he said had been "very hard" for the NHS because of high levels of self-isolation.

That's despite the number of serious winter flu cases among patients being lower than expected.

Mr Richards said: "The single biggest issue we had was around staff absence, due to things like Covid.

"At times it topped out at 13 per cent, which is a very high level.

"Though some of that winter demand didn’t surface in the way we thought it might, because we had staff absence it felt very difficult on the ground and it was diffcult for staff to manage that high workload.

"But I’ve got to say our staff have been fantastic.

"There was very much a ‘can do’ effort in the organisation and I’d applaud the staff for the flexibility they showed."

Local Democracy Reporting Service