Northamptonshire hospitals see number of Covid patients double in four weeks
More walk-in jabs made available as NHS warns of pressure building on services
Hospital chiefs fear more pressure piling on to local NHS services after the number of Covid patients needing treatment more than doubled in a month.
NHS England data published on Thursday (September 23) showed 84 people with the virus in Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital on September 14.
The number fell to 73 by Tuesday (September 21) but only after six Covid patients sadly died in the two hospitals between Friday and Monday.
That figure was 41 four weeks earlier on August 17 and just 11 in early July, before the final Covid restrictions were lifted.
NHS England also showed 13 Covid patients in critical care beds, more than one-third of the hospitals' regular capacity.
Both hospitals have issued urgent appeals for people to only visit Accident and Emergency departments as a last resort and a spokesman said: “The numbers of patients with Covid-19 in our hospitals has grown over the last month.
"These include patients across a variety of age groups and a mixture of those vaccinated and unvaccinated.
“When Covid-19 cases increase in the community – there have been nearly 3,500 new cases in Northamptonshire over the last week – we see an increase in hospitalisations.
“We would urge local people to continue to exercise caution, to be considerate of others, to wear masks in crowded places and to be vigilant about hand washing.
"Covid-19 has not gone away and we urge people to remain vigilant.
"Both hospital sites continue to enforce mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing, and anyone who attends hospital should follow any rules we have in place in our departments. We are also encouraging people to have both of their Covid-19 vaccinations."
NHS England yesterday (Thursday) revealed 735 positive Covid tests in Northamptonshire during the latest 24-hour period, the largest daily total since January 7.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his 'Plan A' for tackling Covid during autumn and winter, including booster jabs for over-50s and vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds.
But he also warned unsustainable pressure on the NHS could force a switch to 'Plan B' with vaccine passports and a return to mandatory face coverings.
Just under 80 per cent of all those aged 16-and-over in Northamptonshire have had at least one jab and more drop-in clinics are open in Northampton, Corby and Towcester this week in a bid to boost that figure further.
Chris Pallot, director of the county's vaccination programme, said: “The more people we vaccinate across the county, the better chance you have of protecting yourself and your loved ones — and walk in vaccine clinics play a huge part in that.
“It’s vital we reach everyone. If you know someone who hasn’t been called or who has now changed their mind and wants the vaccine, please spread the word that we have plenty available for everyone who’s eligible.”