More Covid patients than ever before are being treated on the wards of Leicester’s hospitals, it has been revealed.
Hours before a decision is due on the city and county’s Tier 3 restrictions, Charnwood MP and health minister Ed Argar told LeicestershireLive that local health bosses have told him that Covid patient numbers were higher than ever before.
“When I last spoke with the chief executive of our hospitals, I was told Covid patient numbers are at their highest level yet.
“Our NHS continues to do an incredible job but that pressure is there and it exists as well as other pressures too,” he said.
Hospital capacity and how the local NHS is coping is one of five key factors looked at by the health secretary before a decision will be made on what tier the city and county are placed in from this weekend.
At the height of the first wave in April, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) treated 205, earlier this month there were more than 260 Covid positive patients being treated at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Glenfield Hospital and Leicester General Hospital.
LeicestershireLive understands that the trust recently exceeded that figure.
Rebecca Brown, acting chief executive at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “We are very much in the second wave now and are treating more people with Covid-19 in our hospitals than we were in the first wave earlier this year. We also face the usual winter pressures and are doing all we can to ensure we are able to maintain planned surgeries and procedures.
“Given the national and local picture, we expect this to be a very tough winter.
“We continue to prioritise treatment for people with cancer, urgent and emergency care and to carry out planned operations wherever it is possible to do so. We are here for those who need us for their care so people shouldn’t delay their treatment. Our emergency department is also very busy though, so as always, we ask that people use NHS services wisely.”
She added: “We know how challenging the Covid restrictions continues to be for our local communities but everyone needs to play their part in preventing the spread of the virus.
“So please, follow the guidance and wear masks, wash hands and keep distance from others. This is the only way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones.”
Some 649 people who have tested positive for coronavirus have died at Leicester’s hospitals since the start of the pandemic.