How busy Preston and Chorley hospitals are as NHS battles to free up beds for Omicron surge

Preston and Chorley hospitals had bed occupancy rates above a ‘safe’ limit over Christmas, new data reveals.

By Adam Lord
Saturday, 1st January 2022, 4:28 pm
Updated Saturday, 1st January 2022, 4:30 pm

Figures show 91.1% of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust beds were occupied in the week to December 26 with 85% generally considered to be the desired maximum.

The number of beds taken is however in fact down 5.7% from 96.8% in the seven days prior.

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Visiting suspended at Royal Preston Hospital due to surge in Omicron cases
The Royal Preston Hospital

The NHS says it is on a “war footing” due to the high level of Covid-19 infections and increasing hospital admissions.

A Covid Nightingale ‘surge hub’ has also been set up at the Royal Preston Hospital with 100 extra beds made available, one of eight such set ups across England.

Nationally, more than two-thirds of trusts had an average daily occupancy above the 85% limit in the week to December 26, while nine out of 10 breached the threshold on at least one occasion. In all, the average was 87.4%.

Visiting has been suspended at the Royal Preston Hospital to protect staff and patients from Omicron.

The temporary suspension will remain in place until further notice, said the hospital trust. Children’s wards and maternity have their own restrictions at this time as does 'End of Life' care. While encouraging those who haven’t to get their booster jab, a statement read: “Restricting visiting reduces the number of people walking through the hospital, thereby reducing the risk of the virus being brought into our wards by friends and family of patients.

"The two hospital sites are busy with outpatient appointments as we endeavour to clear the backlog that has arisen from the national lockdowns.

"Those with appointments are encouraged to keep them and to follow the Covid-19 safety measures in place at this time at our hospitals.

"The situation is under daily review and we will ease any restrictions as soon as practicably possible."

The Royal Lancaster Infirmary has also taken similar measures.

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