Lincolnshire hospitals reinstate covid wards after sharp increase in cases
Lincolnshire hospitals are to bring back covid wards after a sharp rise in cases.
Director of operations, Claire Reybould, told the board of Lincolnshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group there had been 16 patients at the beginning of June compared to 73 this week – though the number has dropped today (Wednesday, June 29) to 64.
She told members: “[It’s] still significantly higher than we would have expected so it’s clear that we are in another wave at the moment.”
The pattern of infections, mostly where covid was not the primary reason for being in hospital, was more like the second wave of covid than the first and was starting to result in staffing issues.
Claire told the board other emergency services are also being impacted and further cases are rising in care homes.
She added that vaccines were still weakening the link between serious illness and infection.
Covid wards have been brought back in order to help hospitals to prevent infection.
“In summary, we have been dealing with a lower number of covid patients, but that is really increasing," Claire said.
"However, it’s more the associated challenges. It is going to remain challenging, particularly over the coming months and as we head into winter, so we need to keep focused on that."
Andy Fox, consultant in public health for Lincolnshire County Council, said there were 1,500 people testing positive in Lincolnshire last week, but that Office for National Statistics (ONS) modelling expected significantly higher numbers.
He said figures equated to about 200 cases per every 100,000 people. In May it was as low as 40 to 50 cases per every 100,000.
“We don’t have a huge statistical confidence in that rate given the low numbers of people taking the tests but it does follow the ONS picture of a significant steady increase,” Andy added.
Although the majority of cases were still the Omicron variant, Andy reassured members that Lincolnshire is not 'leading the way nationally by any stretch of imagination'.
Bosses are planning for an autumn vaccination campaign with expectations the spring booster will start waning around that time.