New Covid-19 patients admitted every six hours at Northampton General Hospital

NHS England confirms third virus death in four days

Under-pressure Northampton General Hospital staff are seeing the number of Covid-19 patients in NHS beds increase every six hours.

NHS England yesterday (Thursday) confirmed a third coronavirus patient died at NGH in the space of four days.

Sad news of the death on Wednesday followed two more on Tuesday and Sunday this week.

Staff at NGH saw the number of Covid patients on wards double in five days

Hospital chiefs also revealed the number of Covid patients being treated in critical care beds reached 28 by Monday (July 19) after more than doubling in just five days.

The number of hospital patients stood at 13 at 8am on Thursday (July 15), but had risen to 21 by Saturday morning and then 28 on Monday, an increase of 15 in 96 hours .

Hospital services were already "running hot" after seeing 1,400 more patients last month compared to June 2019.

At the same time, nearly 180 NHS staff were unable to work while quarantining either through testing positive or as a result of being among 5,000 a week in Northamptonshire inged as a close contact of someone who has.

That led to the hospital issuing a plea to avoid its A&E department for all but most serious injuries and illness.

Chief Operating Officer, Jo Fawcus, said: “We are continuing to see hundreds of people attending A&E departments each day both here at NGH and at Kettering General Hospital – a significant number of them with relatively minor problems.

“At the same time we are seeing Covid-19 infections rising again and the numbers of people, especially younger people needing to be hospitalised with it is a serious concern.

“If people attend A&E with very minor injuries or long-term complaints that should be dealt with through self-care, their local pharmacist, GP or NHS 111 then our team may turn people away and direct them back to community services.

“We need the support of our local community so that we can concentrate on those people who need our care the most. We have been overwhelmed by the support shown to our teams during the pandemic and would ask that our local community continue to show kindness and respect to them”.

Most of new 3,200 positive Covid tests recorded in Northamptonshire during the last week have been among the 10-19 age group.

Hospital bosses say the majority of those in NHS beds are not fully vaccinated and some are as young as teenagers, although they may not have been admitted because of Covid.

Government figures this week revealed that more than 60,000 adults in the county were still unvaccinated when Covid restrictions were lifted on Monday despite being offered jabs.

Those who think they need a trip to A&E should contact NHS 111 online or by phone first to seek help and advice.