Devon's covid hospital patients rise - but all not admissions due to the virus

Sunday 15th November 2020 9:27 am
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While the number of people in hospital across Devon following a positive COVID-19 test has increased past the first peak of the coronavirus crisis,  not every patient in a bed was admitted because of coronavirus.

The NHS England figures, released on Friday, give the latest details of the admissions and diagnoses of coronavirus patients by hospital trust.

It shows that as of Tuesday, November 10, the most recent date the information is available for, there were 213 people in Devon’s hospitals and five in Cornwall, compared to 156 and six as of November 3.

Dr Paul Johnson, chairman of Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, told Thursday’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board meeting that it wasn’t until the end of November that they expected to begin seeing the impact of Lockdown 2 and patient numbers begin to reduce, but not all patients included in the figures were admitted for Covid-19.

He told the meeting that the ‘breathing space’ they had in the first wave no longer exists and that hospitals are under more pressure that they were in the Spring.

He added: “We are having to close some wards as people who when admitted, tested negative initially but have in subsequent screenings tested positive and when happens, they are usually on a non-covid ward so that had implications around discharges and bed occupancy.”

Dr Johnson’s figures presented to the Board showed 219 patients in hospital as of Thursday in Devon – slightly higher than the NHS England figures by Trust which cover the Tuesday morning position.

But the number of people in hospital in Cornwall has fallen in the last week, with no patients currently in a Mechanical Ventilation bed, and no deaths in Cornish hospitals for more than a month.

Of the 220 patients across Devon and Cornwall, there were 43 in Torbay Hospital (up from 38), 69 Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (38), 19 in North Devon District Hospital (16), 76 in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth (64), three in Cornish Partnership Trust hospitals (0), but four at the Royal Cornwall Hospital (down from six).

There are also two beds in Devon Partnership NHS Trust hospitals and four beds in Livewell SouthWest facilities in Plymouth taken up with patients after a positive Covid-19 test.

But the numbers of patients in Mechanical Ventilation beds has fallend in the last seven days, with as of November 10, 17 patients, compared to 18 as of November 3.

There was one patient in Torbay Hospital, two at the RD&E, five in Derriford Hospital, and nine in North Devon District Hospital, with none in Cornwall.

The figures show the amount of patients in hospital following a positive COVID-19 test who are currently occupying a bed.

But not every patient would necessarily have been admitted to hospital due to COVID-19, with a number of patients either contracting the virus inside the hospital, or being admitted for unrelated reasons but subsequently testing positive asymptotically when given routine tests.

In the last seven days, 12 people have died in hospitals in Devon following a positive COVID-19 test, with one in North Devon, three in Plymouth and Exeter, and five in Torbay.

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