Covid patient numbers at Suffolk hospitals fall for second straight week

ESNEFT, which manages Ipswich Hospital, is treating fewer Covid patients than last week

ESNEFT, which manages Ipswich Hospital, is treating fewer Covid patients than last week - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The total number of patients being treated with coronavirus in Suffolk and north Essex hospitals has fallen for a second consecutive week, latest data has revealed.

Figures reported on January 25 revealed there were 100 patients with Covid at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which manages Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, on this date.

This total was a slight increase from the 92 who were in hospital as of January 18.

But West Suffolk Hospital has reported a decrease of more than quarter in the number of Covid patients it was treating in the same timeframe.

The Bury St Edmunds hospital had 82 virus patients as of January 18, but this number fell to 61 in a week.

Five patients are being treated with mechanical ventilation at ESNEFT's hospitals, while three are on a ventilator at West Suffolk Hospital.

Visiting restrictions remain in place at the hospitals, but ESNEFT has announced a relaxation on maternity visits from next week.

A "critical internal incident" was declared at West Suffolk Hospital at the end of December due to staff absences, including due to Covid, but this has recently been stood down as workers have returned.

Covid-related absences of NHS staff at hospitals in England are continuing to fall, but levels are still higher than before Christmas, according to new figures.

National medical director at NHS England Stephen Powis said there are signs the rates of new coronav

National medical director at NHS England Stephen Powis said there are signs the rates of new coronavirus cases are beginning to plateau Picture: PIPPA FOWLES/CROWN COPYRIGHT/10 DOWNING STREET/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

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NHS England data revealed an average of 30,375 NHS staff at hospital trusts in England were ill with coronavirus or having to self-isolate each day in the week to January 23.

This is down 15% on the average of 35,555 from the previous week, but still nearly double the 17,836 average absences in the seven days to December 19.

NHS England’s national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: "Our staff have already had what feels like a long winter, but despite everything they have had to contend with, they continue to step up as they always do; answering thousands more 111 calls last week than the seven days before, continuing to care for thousands of Covid patients and maintaining non-Covid procedures, and working closely with colleagues in social care to get people out of hospital safely."