Hospital reports one of busiest days for A&E as coronavirus cases rise

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A hospital in a coronavirus hotspot has reported one of the busiest ever days for its emergency department.

Patients were urged only to attend A&E at the Royal Bolton Hospital if it was absolutely necessary as hospital bosses reported more people requiring treatment for the effects of Covid-19, as well as patients with a range of problems.

The Greater Manchester borough, one of the areas where the Indian variant has been identified, has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, with 1,296 new cases in the seven days to May 20.

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In a statement on Tuesday, chief operating officer and deputy chief executive of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust Andy Ennis said: “Yesterday was one of the busiest days we have ever had in our emergency department.

Royal Bolton HospitalRoyal Bolton Hospital
Royal Bolton Hospital
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“However, we are also now seeing more people requiring hospital treatment from the effects of Covid-19, and, whilst we have discharged a number overnight, today we still have 41 inpatients with Covid, including eight in critical care.

“Going into the bank holiday weekend and half-term, which is always a busy time for the NHS, we anticipate this pressure continuing. As such we are taking urgent actions to ensure we can continue to manage this demand effectively.

“We urge the public to continue to take all necessary steps to protect themselves and others, follow the relevant national guidance, and to only attend our emergency department if absolutely necessary.”

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Patients were advised to call NHS 111 if they were unsure which service was suitable for their needs.

Leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese, the health and care lead for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said the number of Covid patients at the Bolton hospital was less than a third of what it was at the peak of the pandemic, despite increasing case numbers.

He said: “Even though there is a high proportion of cases, that high proportion of cases is not translating into significant increases in hospitalisation, and, more importantly, it is not leading to more people in ICU.”

He said those being admitted to hospital included people aged 35 to 60, and although some of them would have been eligible for one or two vaccinations, a bigger number of patients had only recently become eligible for the jab.

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He added: “We’re also seeing some cases as well where people are getting ill who have been vaccinated but the level of illness is significantly less than it was previously.”

Sir Richard said the NHS was dealing with the combined pressure of Covid cases and trying to return to business as usual with people whose treatment may have been delayed because of the pandemic.

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