Lancashire Covid hospitalisations now higher than first peak

The total number of Covid patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria’s hospitals has now surpassed the peak of the first wave – and more than half of critical care beds in the region are currently occupied by people suffering from the virus.

By Paul Faulkner
Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 6:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 6:22 pm

The Post understands that 505 individuals were hospitalised with Covid as of Tuesday (20th October). That equates to 13 percent of all available hospital beds across the patch.

At the height of the initial outbreak in late spring, the total number of coronavirus inpatients reached 496.

A source told the Post that just over one in every two beds allocated to “critical care” in the region – those located in high dependency and intensive care units – is now filled by the most seriously ill Covid patients. It is not known how that position compares to Lancashire and South Cumbria’s previous peak earlier in the pandemic.

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Figures obtained by the Post show that Covid-related hospitalisations have this week passed the peak of the first wave

Real-time data on coronavirus admissions is not being published by individual hospital trusts. However, as the Post revealed on Wednesday, a message to staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals from chief executive Karen Partington stated that there were 114 Covid patients at the Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital earlier this week – 14 of whom were in critical care.

Lancashire and South Cumbria’s integrated care system (ICS) – a regional partnership of health and social care organisations – said that it is publishing weekly “verified” figures for the wider area.

However, those statistics usually lag by over a week, with the latest data for the seven days to 13th October showing a total of 253 patients hospitalised with Covid-19 – just half of the more recent tally obtained by the Post.

Responding to a request for comment about the latest figures, an ICS spokesperson said: “We have seen significant increases in Covid-19 admissions and NHS services in Lancashire and South Cumbria are under a huge amount of pressure.

“We want to emphasise that all hospitals within Lancashire and South Cumbria are working together and have plans in place to manage increased demand on our services. All hospitals are following strict social distancing and hygiene measures.

“We continue to ask local people to take action now and follow the government guidance to keep everyone safe and reduce the rate of infection in our local communities.”