70-plus people in hospital in Suffolk suffering from Covid

EMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY OCTOBER 14 File photo dated 05/10/09 of a person getting a flu jab as the

People who end up in intensive care often haven't been vaccinated - Credit: PA

There are more than 70 patients being treated for Covid-19 in Suffolk’s hospitals - 11 of them in intensive care.

Latest figures presented to Friday’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board meeting showed there were 32 positive patients at Ipswich Hospital, of which three were in intensive therapy units (ITU), while West Suffolk Hospital had 39 patients, also with three of those in ITU.

In addition, the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston which treats north Suffolk patients as well as those in Norfolk, has reported 23 Covid cases including five in critical care.

Dr Ed Garratt, chief officer at Suffolk’s clinical commissioning groups, said: “Proportionally Ipswich is a bigger site, a bigger hospital and a bigger catchment, so West Suffolk is under slightly greater pressure.”

Data is being collated on how many of those patients have received Covid-19 vaccinations or booster jabs. Public Health Suffolk director Stuart Keeble said that "at a national level people that often end up in ITU are people who often haven’t been vaccinated".

Dr Garratt said usually patients were not admitted for Covid-19, but more often with a different illness but had also got Covid, or worse still picked up Covid within the hospital.

Health chiefs have said that despite being early on in the winter season it "feels much more like January" – traditionally the toughest month for pressure on health services.

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Last month Suffolk's hospitals closed their doors to visitors in a bid to curb the spread of infection and keep patients safe, after evidence was found that visitors had been responsible for some Covid-19 transmission in the hospitals.

Friday’s outbreak board meeting also heard that the sickness rate in Suffolk for health staff was around 4%, which was below the 4.5% regional average.

People have been urged to get their Covid-19 vaccine to help curb the effects of the virus, and reduce the chance of severe health impacts as a result.

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