This is how many Covid patients are in North Yorkshire hospitals as pressure increases on county's NHS

Hospitals in North Yorkshire are "under pressure" due to a rise in the number of Covid patients combined with more people injuring themselves during the cold weather, a senior NHS official has revealed.

Amid rising infection rates in the county, the number of patients being treated for coronavirus in local hospitals has risen by 70 to 271 between December 28 and January 4, with 34 in intensive care.

This includes 19 Covid patients in Harrogate, 71 in York, 40 in Scarborough and 141 at the South Tees hospital trust, which serves the north of the county.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Read More

Read More
Chancellor Rishi Sunak offers £4.6bn lifeline for high streets as third lockdown...
Hospitals in North Yorkshire are "under pressure" due to a rise in the number of Covid patients combined with more people injuring themselves during the cold weather, a senior NHS official has revealed. Pic: PA

Amanda Bloor, the accountable officer for North Yorkshire's NHS clinical commissioning groups, told a press conference that the health service was currently in the busiest time of the year.

She said: "The week after Christmas and New Year is always very challenging and given the rising numbers of COVID cases that we're seeing in hospitals, the hospitals across the region are under pressure at the moment."

Ms Bloor said the latest lockdown could have an impact on staffing at hospitals because of people being asked to shield or not being able to work for childcare reasons, but that prior to the announcement 352 members of staff were absent with Covid or were self-isolating.

She said: "So all of those things, increase the pressure on the hospital sector. It's worth mentioning that because we've had such cold icy and snowy weather, over the last week we're also seeing an increase in people who've had falls, or slips on the ice, who have hurt themselves either broken their hips, fractured their wrists and so the increase in number of patients attending A&E with trauma has increased.

"So we're not just feeling pressure from COVID related cases but also from people venturing out. So actually the message is 'please do stay at home'. It is important to get fresh air and exercise but please be mindful of the weather. And if it is really icy just don't risk it because that puts additional strain and pressure on our hospital services."

She said there was an "enormous amount of hope" about the vaccine programme and that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine which was first deployed this week would be arriving in North Yorkshire and York this week.

Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire's Director of Public Health, said infection rates had been rising across the county for several weeks now and now stood at 345.9 cases per 100,000 people for the last seven days. She said this was below the England average of 559.5 but still concerning.

The highest rate in the county was Richmondshire at 465.3 with Hambleton at 377.8, Craven at 365.8, Scarborough at 348.5, Selby at 366.6, Ryedale at 308.8 and Harrogate at 297.2, all "significant" rises from a week earlier.

She said: "I do suspect that the case numbers will continue to get worse before they get better over the next few weeks because we probably haven't seen the full impact of Christmas Day mixing in the data yet.

"And as we've said previously, we assume the new variant is in North Yorkshire, and we do know that it is more transmissible, so of course we do need to be really vigilant and redouble all of our efforts around our hand washing, social distancing or wearing face coverings."

They spoke at the latest press conference held by the North Yorkshire Resilience Forum, made up of officials from the NHS, local authority, social care, police and business.

North Yorkshire County Council chief executive Richard Flinton said the latest lockdown was going to be "relatively prolonged" and would go into mid-February at the earliest.

He said: "So, the message I think we need to get out to the public and communities, is one of being able to pace ourselves through this lockdown, try and overcome the sense of frustrations that will no doubt exist at this time following on from other restrictions that people have had to cope with.

"But we do have that light at the end of the tunnel of the vaccine, and we need to ask people to embrace this lockdown, to comply with the rules."