Covid admissions at Ipswich Hospital fall 90% since January
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Health leaders have said the "incredible" success of the coronavirus vaccine rollout has resulted in admissions at Ipswich Hospital falling by 90% since January.
Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive of the Ipswich and East Suffolk, West Suffolk and North Essex clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), has praised healthcare workers and volunteers for their help with the programme.
Speaking in a CCG governing body meeting on Tuesday, Dr Garratt revealed two-thirds of the adult population in Ipswich and east Suffolk had received at least their first dose of the Covid vaccine.
This number is higher than the national average, with slightly more than half of UK adults having received the jab.
Ahead of the winter wave of coronavirus cases, East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) - which manages Ipswich and Colchester hospitals - doubled its number of intensive care beds.
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NHS data revealed that the number of Covid patients across ESNEFT's sites had peaked at 550 on January 18.
ESNEFT's chief executive Nick Hulme said the pressures posed by the wave were "the worst I've seen in my lifetime".
The number of patients began to shrink over the next few weeks, with Dr Garratt believing the success of the vaccine rollout in Suffolk had had an "impact".
He said initiatives such as the mobile vaccine bus, which is visiting communities with low jab uptake rates, where all playing their part in the reduction of death and patient numbers.
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Dr Garratt told the meeting: "We've seen a 90% reduction in Covid inpatients at Ipswich Hospital since January, so it's been really incredible. The vaccine programme is having an impact.
"It's been great to see the volumes that we have got through, but also the care and attention we have paid to all our community.
"This is very much a team sport and we have had incredible support from the public, who have come forward to volunteer.
"We've had amazing leadership from various teams. It's been incredible to see the way everyone's pulled together.
"Thank you to everyone in Suffolk for the role they've played in the pandemic. Staff have worked so hard to protect people and keep them safe. I want to report a debt of gratitude."