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More than 70 patients in Suffolk's hospitals being treated for Covid-19, with 39 at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds



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More than 70 patients in Suffolk’s hospitals are being treated for Covid-19, according to latest figures.

Data presented to Friday’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board meeting indicated that there were 32 positive patients at Ipswich Hospital, of which three were in intensive therapy units (ITU), while West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, had 39 patients, also with three of those in ITU.

In addition, the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston which treats north Suffolk patients as well as those in Norfolk has reported 23 Covid cases including five in critical care.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.
West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

Dr Ed Garratt, chief officer at Suffolk’s clinical commissioning groups, said: “Proportionally Ipswich is a bigger site, a bigger hospital and a bigger catchment, so West Suffolk is under slightly greater pressure.”

Chiefs are collating data on how many of those patients have received Covid-19 vaccinations or booster jabs, although Public Health Suffolk director Stuart Keeble said that ‘at a national level people that often end up in ITU are people who often haven’t been vaccinated’.

Dr Garratt said that it was not usually a case of someone being admitted to hospital because of Covid-19, but ‘more often than not someone has been admitted for a different illness but also got Covid, or worse still picked up Covid within the hospital. It is more the balance of that rather than being in the hospital bed because of Covid’.

Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive of Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk clinical commission groups. Picture: Ben Carmichael/Suffolk CCGS.
Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive of Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk clinical commission groups. Picture: Ben Carmichael/Suffolk CCGS.

Health chiefs have said that despite being early on in the winter season it ‘feels much more like January’ – traditionally the toughest month for pressure on health services.

Last month the county’s hospitals closed their doors to visitors in a bid to curb the spread of infection and keep patients safe, after evidence was found that visitors had been responsible for some Covid-19 transmission in the hospitals.

Friday’s meeting also heard that the sickness rate in Suffolk for health staff was around 4 per cent, which was below the 4.5 per cent regional average.

People have been urged to get their Covid-19 vaccine to help curb the effects of the virus, and reduce the chance of severe health impacts as a result.

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk

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