Latest coronavirus data shows slight rise in hospital admissions

The latest coronavirus case rates have been released for Suffolk and Essex (file image) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The latest coronavirus case rates have been released for Suffolk and Essex (file image) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Hospital chiefs are warning people not to be complacent as latest data showed a slight increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the region’s hospitals.

New weekly cases in Suffolk’s two main hospitals, Ipswich and West Suffolk, are far smaller than that of their Essex neighbour in Colchester, according to NHS figures.

Across Suffolk, there were eight new cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in hospital in the week to Monday, October 19.

That is up from the four admitted with coronavirus the previous week.

MORE: Mapped – The Suffolk neighbourhoods with the highest and lowest Covid-19 infection ratesHowever, in Colchester, where cases are rising more rapidly, there were 29 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 in the seven days to October 19.

There were 18 admitted with the virus during the previous week.

As of Tuesday, October 20, there were three patients across Ipswich and Colchester hospitals on mechanical ventilator (MV) beds.

At West Suffolk, there was one person on a ventilator on the same date.

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Nick Hulme, chief executive of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, said that although numbers of cases are increasing in our communities, they are still significantly lower than the rest of the country.

New cases at the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which serves a community currently under tier 3 lockdown restrictions, rose to 232 in a single week in the seven days to October 18, with 23 patients on mechanical ventilators.

MORE: Care home which lost 11 residents to coronavirus closes suddenlyDuring the first peak in April, there were 34 people on ventilators across Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, with a further 143 virus patients being cared for.

Despite the lower numbers this time around, Mr Hulme added: “We cannot be complacent though. It’s so important that we all continue to stick to the national safety advice.

“Although we are caring for more patients with Covid-19, please be reassured that our hospitals are open if you need them.

“If you need urgent or emergency treatment, you must come and see us, it is safe for you to be in hospital.”

Mr Hulme said that, like many other hospitals, they plan to continue offering elective surgery during the second peak of the virus, adding that they want to avoid distress caused to patients the first time around. It will be kept under close review, he added.

MORE: Staying in Tier 1 is Suffolk’s best chance of recovery, say leadersEarlier in the pandemic, we reported the long delays faced by patients for non-emergency surgery.

Dr Stephen Dunn, chief executive of West Suffolk Hospital, said he too has seen an increase in virus patients at his trust.

He added: “I want to reassure west Suffolk residents that wherever possible, we are continuing to provide routine care.

“If they have any health concerns, they should continue to use our services, get in touch with their GP, or call NHS 111.”

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