Just three Covid patients in care of hospitals across Shropshire, latest figures show

Just two patients with coronavirus were being cared for at Shropshire's two main hospitals last week, latest figures show.

The number of Covid patients in the care of staff at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal has rapidly declined since 165 at the end of January, and has remained in single figures this past month.

According to latest NHS England data, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs PRH and RSH, was caring for two coronavirus patients as of Tuesday last week.

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust was caring for one coronavirus patient at the same point, while the number had decreased to zero at The Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, near Oswestry.

Earlier this month, SaTH's board was told Covid-safe measures will continue to be in place at the hospitals and certain ways of working may never return.

Hospitals are now trying to tackle huge waiting lists for patients awaiting routine operations and procedures, which have grown massively during the pandemic.

Recovery plan

Urgent and life-threatening conditions have been prioritised, health bosses say.

Sara Biffen, deputy chief operating officer, said a recovery plan was being drawn together this month, while clinical teams are carrying out regular reviews to make sure patients on waiting lists are not coming to any harm.

It comes as latest figures show there has been a slight fluctuation in Covid infection rates across the county.

People have been asked to continue to be cautious, follow the rules and get tested twice a week if you do not have symptoms.

Telford & Wrekin Councillor Andy Burford, cabinet member for health and social care, said: "Getting tested twice a week even if you feel well and have been vaccinated remains essential, as you could spread the virus without knowing it.

"It's straightforward to do, you can pick up a home testing kit from the many collection points across the borough or go to one of our rapid testing sites."

Mutation

Last week, it emerged some cases of a mutation of the UK Covid-19 variant have been identified in a small cluster of cases in some families in Telford and Wrekin.

Public Health England in the West Midlands are working with Telford & Wrekin Council, communities and some local schools to monitor the situation.

PHE has advised that there is no evidence that the mutation causes more serious illness and that all necessary public health interventions are being undertaken.

Consultant in communicable disease for PHE West Midlands, Musarrat Afza said a small cluster of cases of a variant strain of Covid-19 were being investigated in the Hadley and Leegomery areas, which are believed to be linked.

NHS figures show across England there were 1,649 people in hospital with Covid as of April 20, with 273 of them in mechanical ventilation beds.

The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised nationally has decreased by 61 per cent in the last four weeks, while the number on mechanical ventilators has decreased by 58 per cent.

If you think you may have Covid-19, or are displaying any symptoms, you are encouraged to self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test by visiting gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119.

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