NHS Trust says vaccine figures offer hope as 40 per cent of Lister's patients have COVID-19
- Credit: Laura Sansom
Vaccination figures are continuing to rise in our area, as Lister Hospital confirms that four out of every 10 patients in the hospital have coronavirus.
The East and North Herts NHS Trust, which oversees Lister, has also confirmed that non-urgent operations have been postponed to ensure staff can provide extra support to patients currently in critical care beds.
Last week, Dr Michael Chilvers, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’s medical director, said: “Sadly, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of people in hospital with COVID-19, with a 75 per cent rise (90 more patients) since New Year’s Day.
“Four in every 10 of our in-patients at Lister Hospital have the virus, and so far we have expanded our critical care unit by 25 per cent so that we can care for our sickest patients.
“Reluctantly we are now postponing non-urgent operations so that more of our staff can provide support for these extra patients in critical care.
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“However, the NHS remains here for you when you need us.
“It’s crucial that you seek emergency care for any chest pain, stroke symptoms or serious injury, and remember NHS 111 is there for minor injuries or if you have health concerns and don’t know what to do – you can contact them online or by phone.
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“We want to ensure that we can continue to treat other life-threatening conditions alongside our COVID-19 patients.
“To help us do this, please stay at home to save lives, and have your COVID-19 vaccination when contacted by the NHS.
“I cannot emphasise enough – widespread vaccination against this virus is key to a future without it.”
According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 584 new cases in Stevenage between January 10 and 16, down 160 from the previous week.
And vaccination figures released by NHS England show more than 120,000 vaccines have now been administered in Hertfordshire and West Essex.
Nick Carver, the trust’s chief executive, said: “This rapid rise in COVID-19 cases on top of our usual winter pressures means we are now busier than ever before. Our doctors, nurses and everyone on the frontline are dealing with more sick patients in critical care and a need for more beds on our wards.
“I am so thankful to our incredible staff who are more tired now than when our communities first clapped on their doorsteps, but continue to step up to meet what is a huge challenge for all of us. We are here for you, our community, when you need us most.
“These are extremely tough times, but I have seen first-hand the joy of those who have been vaccinated and am proud that we are playing our part in protecting the community and colleagues against the virus.
“The vaccine is our way out of the pandemic, so we must all follow the rules and the principles of hands, face, space – and not lose sight of that.”