Number of Covid patients in beds at Shropshire hospitals triples in a month

The number of beds occupied by Covid patients at Shropshire's hospitals has tripled in a month, new figures show.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital, was caring for 81 coronavirus patients as of Tuesday last week, according to the latest statistics from NHS England.

The data shows that the number of people being treated at the county's main hospitals for Covid-19 by 8am on November 24 was up from 73 on the same day the previous week.

It has more than doubled since four weeks prior – on October 27 there were 31.

Hospital bosses at the trust say that staff are 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 regular screening.

It comes as the level of urgent care activity at the hospitals has increased in recent months following a reduction over the summer.

As of Tuesday last week, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust was also caring for 18 coronavirus patients – up from 17 on the same day the previous week.

The Covid-19 case rate in Telford & Wrekin. Data: coronavirus.data.gov.uk

There were two beds occupied by Covid-19 patients four weeks previously at the trust, which runs Bishop's Castle Community Hospital, Bridgnorth Community Hospital, Ludlow Community Hospital and Whitchurch Community Hospital.

The most recent figures show The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, near Oswestry, was caring for three Covid patients, however that was down from four on the same day the previous week.

The hospital had no beds occupied by coronavirus patients a month ago.

The Covid-19 case rate in Shropshire. Data: coronavirus.data.gov.uk

Across England there were 14,506 people in hospital with Covid as of November 24, with 1,306 of them in mechanical ventilation beds.

The numbers of Covid-19 patients being hospitalised have increased by 69 per cent, while those on mechanical ventilators have increased by 76 per cent in the last four weeks across England.

The national month-long lockdown has now come to an end, with latest figures showing it has led to a massive fall in the number of positive Covid cases.

The daily number of coronavirus deaths at Shropshire hospitals as of December 1. By date of death, not date death was announced. Data: NHS England.

But health bosses in the county have warned that people need to continue following guidelines in an effort to maintain the progress so restrictions can be lifted further.

From today, the entirety of Shropshire – both the Shropshire Council area and the Telford & Wrekin borough – will be under the Government's new Tier 2 regulations.

The cumulative number of coronavirus deaths at Shropshire hospitals as of December 1. By date of death, not date death was announced. Data: NHS England.

This means that people will not be able to mix indoors with people from outside their household or support bubble and will only be able to go to pubs and restaurants to eat a "substantial meal".

And people are being urged to keep following national advice on hand hygiene, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing.

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