COVID deaths at Lister pass grim milestone

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Hospitals Trust, which oversees Lister Hospital, recorded five

More than 500 COVID deaths have been registered at Lister Hospital in Stevenage since the start of the pandemic - Credit: Archant

More than 500 people with COVID-19 have died at Stevenage's Lister Hospital since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest data from East and North Herts NHS Trust.

As of May 5, the number of COVID-19 in-patient deaths was 509.

On Wednesday, a meeting of the trust board took a more detailed look at the 414 COVID-19 deaths that had occurred at the hospital before January 31.

A report to the board indicated that that 179 of those deaths had occurred before November 12 last year, but that the majority had occurred later - suggesting that there had been far more deaths in the second wave, with 51 deaths reported in a single week (ending January 24).

Analysis of all COVID-19 in-patient deaths recorded at the hospital to January 31 shows that 273 (66 per cent) had been men, with 141 (34 per cent) had been women.

The data shows that in-patient COVID-19 deaths are highest among older age groups, but in the latest wave there were deaths among the 30 to 39 age group.

According to the report, over-80s accounted for more than half of the 414 deaths before January 31 – with 86 who were 90 and over and 149 who were aged between 80 and 89. A further 99 deaths were of patients aged between 70 and 79.

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Of the remaining 80 COVID-19 deaths in hospital, 47 were aged 60 to 69; 22 were 50 to 59; six were 40 to 49; and five were 30 to 39.

The report says that the figures do “not demonstrate a bias towards BAME population, but this may be a reflection of the demographics of the Hertfordshire region”.

The data was included in a wider report presented to the trust board entitled, ‘Learning from Deaths Report’.

Dr Michael Chilvers, medical director at the trust, said:  “Every death is a tragedy and our thoughts are with the families and friends who have lost a loved one.

“We follow strict national infection prevention and control guidelines in our hospitals, and urge the public to continue to follow government advice on social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing face masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

The trust stresses that they deliver safe, high-quality care for all patients, which they say is shown by the overall proportion of deaths being amongst the lowest in the country.