'Tidal Wave' of New Covid Patients Since Start of Year

Sharp increase in admissions in latest week for local hospitals

Fewer Covid patients in critical care wards at Charing Cross
Fewer Covid patients in critical care wards at Charing Cross

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West London hospitals have seen a tidal wave of new Covid patients since the start of 2021.

New data released this Friday (8 January) by NHS England shows patient numbers at some hospitals were up by around 45 per cent over seven days.

It comes as London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a “major incident” across London, meaning other emergency services could be mobilised to assist the NHS.

London’s overall infection rate also surpassed 1,000 cases per 100,000 people – indicating that more than one per cent of London’s population has the virus.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – which runs Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital and St Mary’s in Paddington – had 308 Covid patients in beds across the three sites as of Wednesday, January 5.

This was up from 256 patients on December 29, seven days earlier.

Of the 308 patients being looked after by Imperial on Wednesday, 58 were on beds in intensive care with ventilators – machines that take over a patient’s breathing, often while they are sedated

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was caring for a total of 320 Covid-positive patients as of Wednesday, an increase of 76 over seven days (+31 per cent).

The trust’s figures include both Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in Fulham Road, and West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth.

Among its 320 Covid patients were 27 on beds with ventilators.

The biggest increase was seen by Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, which specialises in complex heart and lung care. The trust runs the Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea and the Harefield Hospital in Uxbridge.

By Wednesday there were 193 patients with Covid at the two hospitals, up from 133 just a week before. This equalled an increase of 45 per cent.

Thirty-four out of the 193 patients are in intensive care and on a ventilator.

Owen Sheppard – Local Democracy Reporter

January 10, 2021

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