'Do your bit to slow spread' - plea as Covid hospital admissions remain low

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, James Paget Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Pict

Norfolk's hospitals are currently treating more than 20 patients for Covid-19 - Credit: Brittany Woodman/Sonya Duncan

"Well rehearsed and tested plans" are in place to cope with a rise in Covid admissions in Norfolk hospitals as numbers slowly creep up.

The county has been around two weeks behind the national curve of growing infection rates, with hospitalisations remaining stable in comparison to previous waves, which saw hundreds of patients receive treatment. 

There were 24 people being treated for Covid across all three hospitals and three patients in critical care as of July 20.

Patients requiring a ventilator remain below five according to the latest NHS figures, with two patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and one at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston as of July 20, the latest reporting period.

This week, five patients died after testing positive for Covid-19, three at the JPUH and two at the NNUH. 

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A spokesman for the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney said everyone can do their bit to slow the spread, as cases in the community continue to grow. 

They said: “Hospital teams across Norfolk are working hard to catch up on patients who had procedures and treatments paused during the pandemic and are seeing high numbers of emergency attendances.

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“The number of patients requiring hospital care for Covid-19 remains low and we have well-rehearsed and tested plans in place for a rise in Covid hospitalisations.

“Everyone can do their bit to slow the spread."

They said it was essential for people to wear face coverings in healthcare settings and that people could protect their communities by having the vaccination and taking part in rapid testing.

“We would also urge people to be kind and respectful towards healthcare staff who are working incredibly hard to provide the care you need," they said.

The daily number of Covid cases in Norfolk is rising much faster, with more than 400 new cases in a day. 

Gorleston and Bradwell have seen "extreme rises" in new cases, with Gorleston seeing 1,169 cases per 100,000 people. 

Health bosses are urging people over 16 in the areas to get tested to try and curb the spread. 

Unions representing NHS staff said they have seen a rise in calls about pressure on staff.

Sasha Savage, UNISON Eastern head of the health, said: "NHS staff in Norfolk are still reeling from the first waves of the pandemic, more cases and the jettisoning of all social distancing measures won't make their lives any easier.

"We've heard terrible tales of the strains staff have been put under over the last 18 months. Upending their lives to try to get us through to the other side of Covid. Many are understandably anxious about the months ahead."

Helen Maw, senior officer for the Royal College of Nursing added: "The third phase is undoubtedly increasing pressure on the health economy and will continue to do so for some time."

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