Shropshire hospitals under 'sustained pressure' and seeing higher numbers of Covid patients than first wave

Shropshire's major hospitals are under 'sustained pressure' and have been seeing higher numbers of coronavirus patients than during the first wave, bosses say.

Medical chiefs at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust say staff are now dealing with a 'more complex' second wave of coronavirus.

Urgent care activity at the Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal Hospitals reduced over the summer, as did the number of Covid-positive patients being cared for.

But moving through September and October into the winter months, the level of activity has increased, with RSH in particular seeing similar numbers of ambulance arrivals and ‘major’ activity as before the pandemic.

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NHS figures show there were 73 beds occupied by Covid patients at RSH and PRH on November 17, however fewer patients are needing to be treated in the intensive care unit than earlier in the year, the trust says.

Nigel Lee, chief operating officer at SaTH, said: “We are now dealing with a more complex second wave of coronavirus – seeing higher levels of Covid-positive patients, as well as managing asymptomatic patients whose diagnosis is picked up during our regular screening.

“Like hospitals across the country, our teams have been working under sustained pressure for some time and I would like to pay tribute to them and thank them for their ongoing hard work.

"The public can help prevent the spread of Covid infections by following the lockdown rules and national advice on hand hygiene, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing."

It comes as the NHS warns it is facing a “real problem” across the country, as the number of beds open to patients is still well below last year’s figures.

SaTH said the trust also has to separate the beds available for Covid and non-Covid patients.

Some 284 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the West Midlands in the week ending November 13 – the highest since the week to May 22.

Nationally, there were 2,466 deaths, the first time the figure has risen above 2,000 since May.

NHS England announced yesterday that one further coronavirus patient had died in the care of SaTH.

It brings the number of Covid related deaths at Shropshire's hospitals to 241.

However, latest figures show that coronavirus rates have fallen in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

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