Derby and Burton’s hospitals have discharged their 4,000th Covid-19 inpatient.
This comes just over a month after the hospital trust discharged its 3,000th Covid-19 inpatient from Royal Derby Hospital in early January.
The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees Royal Derby Hospital and Queen’s Hospital in Burton, discharged its 2,000th Covid patient in late November while its 1,000th Covid patient was discharged from Royal Derby in July.
Overall, 1,568 Covid patients – 39 per cent of admissions – have died at the trust since the start of the pandemic, some of whom had worked at the organisation itself and were treated by their colleagues.
Staff have been speaking to the trust’s chief executive about the mental pressures they are facing a year into the Covid pandemic.
The trust said last month that ICU (intensive care) staff were to receive support for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may take a considerable amount of time to recover from what they have seen and been through.
There are now fewer Covid-19 patients in Derby and Burton’s hospitals than at any time since early November – though there are still scores on wards due to the virus.
As of Monday, February 22, there were 196 Covid positive patients at Royal Derby Hospital and Queen’s Hospital in Burton.
This is down 60 per cent from a pandemic high of 524 Covid-19 patients five weeks ago, which may show the impact of both lockdown and vaccine uptake.
It comes as a study in Scotland found that hospitalsations have reduced by 85 per cent for those who have received the Pfizer/BioNTech jab and 94 per cent for those who have had the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine.
The number of Covid-19 patients at Derby and Burton’s hospitals is still extremely high but is at the lowest level since the lead-up to the nation’s second lockdown in early November.
Health officials have stressed that it is extremely significant to have such a large number of patients in the same hospitals at the same time, with the same illness, and particularly on the scale scene with Covid.
Royal Derby Hospital has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of Covid patients it is treating. Its staff are now caring for 128 patients with the virus, down from 182 last week and an all-time high five weeks ago of 388, a reduction of 67 per cent.
The 128 Covid patients at Royal Derby represent a level of inpatients with the virus that is now lower than its first wave high.
Staff at Royal Derby are treating 12 Covid patients in intensive care, down from 19 last week. The hospital’s ICU high was seen during the first wave and saw nearly 30 patients in ICU.
There are currently 68 Covid-19 patients at Queen’s Hospital in Burton, down from 91 last week (a quarter) and down more than half from its all-time high of 151 three weeks ago.
Staff at Queen’s are treating eight Covid patients in intensive care. The hospital’s peak ICU admissions for Covid was 12 three weeks ago, a particularly significant level for a non-city hospital.
Chesterfield Royal Hospital staff are currently treating 91 Covid-19 patients, down from 107 last week and a drop of more than 50 per cent from its all time pandemic high of 196 four weeks ago.
Intensive care unit staff at the hospital are treating 10 Covid patients, down from 11 last week. Its pandemic high for patients in ICU was 17 in early April during the first wave.
Gavin Boyle, chief executive of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust welcomed the “steady” reduction in Covid inpatients.
He said: “Over the last two weeks, we’ve thankfully started to see the numbers of Covid-19 patients in our hospitals begin to fall steadily, which is a welcome relief for us all.
“This is evidence that the sacrifices that we’ve all been making during the latest lockdown are working but I can’t stress enough just how important it is that none of us get complacent now.
“Our hospitals are still under considerable pressure, which means this is absolutely no time to lower our guard and to let our standards drop.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing staff who have been absolutely phenomenal over the last 12 months and have once again stood up to the challenge at the start of this year.
“We were absolutely delighted to be able to discharge our 4,000th patient admitted with Covid-19 at the start of last week, which is testament to the incredible efforts of our colleagues and the mammoth task we’ve all been faced with.
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“Sadly, we have also recently lost two more of our own colleagues with Covid-19 and this has provided a painful reminder to us, if anyone needed it, that we’re not out of the woods yet in the fight against this dreadful illness.
“There is good cause for optimism as a result of the fantastic progress being made with the vaccination programme but this is not the time to be complacent.
“We all need to maintain our discipline, follow the rules and continue to wash our hands regularly, wear our masks and be socially distant.”