Hospitals see first day without Covid-19 death since October
- Credit: Archant
The NHS trust behind Ipswich and Colchester hospitals has seen its first day without a coronavirus-related death since October.
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), has continued to see a reduction of coronavirus patients since the end of the second peak – although pressure remains on its intensive therapy units.
ESNEFT chief executive Nick Hulme said the situation at the hospitals is becoming more manageable.
Mr Hulme said: "In terms of Covid, we've got about 25 patients on each site. At one point, we had over 500 across both sites.
"Clearly the numbers of patients coming through the door are significantly reduced.
"Sunday (March 14) was the first day since October that we had no Covid deaths on either site, which is a significant milestone."
Mr Hulme added that he will continue to prepare for the worst as a precaution –
He said: "Clearly we need to keep the message that although
, we are not out of this.
"We are expecting some form of increase in Covid numbers later in the year, particularly among younger people who will not have not been vaccinated yet – or because they are out enjoying themselves, which we of course welcome as long as they do so safely.
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"That is less likely to lead to hospitalisation of course, but we are also now having to plan for winter and thinking about what October and November may look like.
"I certainly don't hope that will be the case, I've spent my career planning for the worst and hoping for the best – but human nature suggests some people may become complacent and it's right we prepare for that."
In terms of vaccinations at both sites, Mr Hulme said staff are now giving second doses to both fellow frontline healthcare workers and the over 80s.
"Our vaccination centres are going great guns at the minute," he said.
"The whole country should be incredibly proud of what the NHS has achieved with its vaccination programme.
"People talk about how amazing the NHS has been throughout the pandemic, but for me, where it has really come into its own is through the vaccination programme."