Lincolnshire hospitals reinstate Covid wards after sharp increase in cases
Lincolnshire hospitals are reinstating Covid wards this week after a sharp rise in cases.
Director of operations Claire Reybould told the board of Lincolnshire NHS Clinical Commissiong Group there had been 16 patients at the beginning of June compared to 73 this week – though the number had decreased on 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.
However, she said it was starting to result in staffing issues.
Other blue light services such as fire and rescue are also being impacted and further rises were also taking place in care homes, Claire told the board.
However, she said vaccines were still weakening the link between serious illness and infection.
She repeated a message to residents to come forward to make sure they were up-to-date with their jabs.
The Covid wards have been reinstated in order to help hospital bosses safely manage infection prevention control.
She added: “In summary, we have been dealing with a lower number of Covid patients, but that is really increasing.
"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."
Lincolnshire County Council’s Consultant in Public Health Andy Fox said there were 1,500 people officially testing positive in Lincolnshire last week, but that ONS modelling expected significantly higher numbers.
He said the figures equated to around 200 per hundred thousand population. In May it was as low as 40 to 50.
Andy added: “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.”
He said the majority of cases were still the Omicron variant.
However, he told members Lincolnshire was “not leading the way nationally by any stretch of the imagination”.
Bosses are planning for an autumn vaccination campaign with expectations the spring booster will start waning around that time.