London Covid cases sent to hospitals treating Rutland patients
Hospitals which cared for Rutland patients during the Covid crisis stepped in to treat patients from London when vital intensive care beds were in short supply elsewhere.
Leicester’s hospitals provided mutual aid to other trusts while continuing to care for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’s poorliest patients.
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust’s acting chief executive, Rebecca Brown, told colleagues of her team’s efforts this morning (Thursday).
“I’m really proud to say that we’ve not only managed our own workload of patients coming through in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, but we’ve also supported patients from London and the greater Midlands area,” she said.
“This hasn’t just been in ECMO (extra corporeal membrane oxygenation), as we would do normally, but in our intensive care unit, too.
“We have absolutely supported the national NHS family by taking on their patients as well.”
The city is home to the country’s largest ECMO unit, and has supported some of the sickest patients from all over the UK during the Covid crisis.
Patients are often transferred into the city for the life-saving treatment.
The specialist life support machine is used for patients needing the highest level of care.
Blood is pumped outside of the body to a heart-lung machine which removes carbon dioxide and sends oxygen-filled blood back to tissues in the body.
Mrs Brown said health bosses expect the current pressures to continue for the next few weeks, especially on intensive care wards and the ECMO unit.
Around 500 Covid-positive patients are currently being treated at either the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester General Hospital or Glenfield Hospital, with 80 receiving intensive care - normal ITU capacity within the trust is 49.
“We continue to see the pressure in ITU so whilst the numbers in the hospital are beginning to come down and we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, particularly with the lockdown, that has really helped with this,” Mrs Brown added.
“But we will still see growth in our ITU and ECMO numbers probably for the next couple of weeks.”
Almost 4,000 patients have been discharged from the city’s hospitals after treatment for Covid-19, and 1,093 patients have died after a positive test.