Routine surgeries are still being affected by the number of Covid-19 patients in Barnsley Hospital, according to a hospital boss.
Dr Richard Jenkins, Chief Executive of Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust told a board of directors meeting on August 5 that an increasing number of Covid patients has had an impact on the trust’s elective recovery programme.
“We’ve seen variation in the pressure that the trust has been under,” he told the meeting.
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“We got up to about 50-55 cases about three weeks ago, the numbers then dropped down to 38, they’re back up to 62 today, so it’s really quite difficult to predict exactly what the course of this phase of the pandemic will be.”
“In wave one, we peaked at about 76 patients in the hospital, so we’re not a million miles away from that.
“That has, unfortunately, had an impact on our ability to progress with the elective recovery programme, particularly with the occupation of critical care beds, and some people who have planned surgery will need critical care bed support afterwards.
“Unfortunately they’ve had to wait.
“We’ve got an awful lot of pressure through the front door of the trust in terms of urgent care. That’s been very difficult. It’s not just us, it’s across the whole system,” he told the meeting.
A report to the board said the trust is “unlikely” to achieve its July target to complete 100 per cent of elective surgeries, but Barnsley Hospital saw the best performance in the country for patients staying longer than 21 days.
Dr Jenkins also said the hospital has seen a “small number” of Covid deaths, after none were reported over the last month, although the numbers are “significantly different” to earlier waves of infections.
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“We know that vaccination very dramatically reduces your chances of dying,” Dr Jenkins added.
“The groups who are tending to get it now are a younger population than the first wave, and therefore their chance of death is lower.
“There is still a risk of serious illness and also long Covid, which probably hasn’t had enough prominence in the media.
Government data shows there was one death following a positive Covid test from May 28 until July 2, with eight deaths reported from July 9 to date.
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