Derbyshire hospital bosses say situation “incredibly challenging” after surge in covid cases

The number of Covid patients being treated in Derbyshire hospitals has risen sharply over Christmas – with health bosses describing the past few days as “incredibly challenging”.

By Nigel Slater, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 31st December 2021, 11:36 am

Considerable increases in the number of people in intensive care beds have also been recorded, as well as higher hospital staff absence levels – suggesting the coronavirus pandemic is far from over and hospitals are feeling the pressure.

Hospital bosses in Derbyshire have urged people to follow the guidelines and get a vaccination or a booster if not already jabbed to ease the pressure on the hospitals and staff.

Before Christmas it was reported there were just 19 Covid patients receiving treatment at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

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Chesterfield Royal Hospital has announced it is suspending patient visiting amid a surge in Covid patients.

New figures released on Wednesday, December 29 have revealed that figure increased to 41 – with two patients in intensive care.

The number of Covid patients has also shot up at both Royal Derby Hospital and Queens Hospital in Burton – both part of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.

Before Christmas the Trust said there were 78 patients within both hospitals suffering from coronavirus. Now the figure stands at 93.

Though this may appear to be a small increase, the number of Covid patients in intensive care in both hospitals has, however, increased significantly from four to 17 over the Christmas period – eleven in Derby and six in Burton.

That means that since December 19, there has been a 38 per cent increase in the number of patients with Covid at hospitals in Derby, Burton and Chesterfield.

Bosses at Chesterfield Royal Hospital say that 80 per cent of the 41 patients at the hospital with Covid have been vaccinated. But it is unclear at this stage whether this means fully vaccinated or just one or two doses.

The same question was asked to Royal Derby Hospital and Queens Hospital in Burton. The Trust said the information on vaccinations “isn’t readily available” and involves accessing medical records which are confidential.

The number of staffing absentees due to Covid has also increased within the two major health trusts in Derby and Burton and Chesterfield.

Before Christmas it was reported that 400 staff were absent at hospitals in Derby and Burton. This figure has now increased to 460 – placing more pressure on the hospitals’ resources.

The University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust employs 12,000 people.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital says it is also “seeing increased absences due to the number of colleagues who testing Covid positive but are managing our staffing levels on a daily basis”.

Berenice Groves, deputy chief executive at Chesterfield Royal Hospital said: “It’s incredibly challenging right now. We thank our colleagues for their efforts during this busy period.

“We’d like to encourage our local community to continue to help and support us by doing the right things – please wear your mask, wash your hands and take lateral flows before mixing.

“Please have a vaccine or booster – you can book by calling 119 and please also think where is most appropriate if you need care over the next few days. We appreciate that it is a time for families and friends but encourage people to follow the guidelines in order to keep everyone safe this new year.”