Northamptonshire coronavirus situation is 'still serious'
The number of daily deaths in Northants has not declined as sharply as the national picture
Kettering General Hospital's medical director has warned that coronavirus should not be underestimated as data shows there has been no significant slow down in deaths related to Covid-19 in the county.
Figures from NHS England show the total number of deaths in the county's two main hospitals continues to rise and the number of daily deaths has not declined as sharply as it has nationally across the whole of England.
KGH's medical director, Professor Andrew Chilton, said: "While it is fair to say that overall, so far, our COVID-19 deaths have not yet followed the national picture of decline, which is largely influenced by London and the West Midlands, which were first hit and hardest hit.
"This suggests the local situation is still settling.
"People should recognise the situation locally is still a serious one and it should not be underestimated."
Northamptonshire's director of public health, Lucy Wightman, said: "Locally we are continuing to see new cases, hospitalisations and, sadly, deaths from Covid-19.
"Every single death means the loss of a loved one and our thoughts and sympathies are with all those in our county who have lost friends or family members as a result of this virus.
"We monitor case numbers closely to ensure that any trends can be quickly identified, understood and acted upon appropriately."
At KGH, Professor Chilton said there had been approximately 200 deaths at KGH in April which is 100 more than normally expected at this time of year.
He said: "That increase is due to Covid-19.
"Patients with Covid-19 are in KGH for an average of 18 days, and sometimes for significantly longer than that.
"The average age of patients who have sadly died has been 80 and most deaths have involved patients with serious coexisting health conditions."
Of those who have died at KGH, 60 per cent have been admitted from their home, 29 per cent from residential care homes and 11 per cent from nursing homes.
NGH's chief operating officer and deputy chief executive, Deborah Needham, said: "The picture at NGH is very similar to the one at KGH, and in Northamptonshire as a whole.
"Covid-19 has had a large impact on our community in Northampton, and we are seeing patients with COVID-19 staying with us in hospital for an average of 11 days before they are well enough to return home.
"Thankfully we have seen many patients recover from the illness, but we have all seen first-hand how serious COVID-19 is."
Over 200 patients at NGH have sadly died from Covid-19 with an average age of 80 and many of them had pre-existing health conditions.
Deborah Needham added: "Therefore it is incredibly important that those who have been asked to shield or those who are more vulnerable continue to follow the guidance.
"We have remained grateful for the cooperation of our community throughout this pandemic, however we need support in staying vigilant and continuing to follow the national guidance closely.
"For those starting to go back to work and for those meeting one family member or friend from a social distance, it’s vital we remember to adhere to social distancing guidelines and good hand hygiene.
"We know that by doing these two things we can reduce the spread of the virus and protect our community. By following the guidance and not becoming complacent, we will all make a huge difference in keeping our community safe and controlling the spread of the virus."
The director of public health, Lucy Wightman, said: "The people of Northamptonshire have been fantastic in the way that they have embraced social distancing and followed government and health advice so far during the pandemic – but it’s clear that we all must remain focused on playing our own part to stop the spread of coronavirus.
"Please stay at home as much as possible and limit contact with other people where it is necessary to go out, including remaining at least two metres away from people outside your own household and continue to wash your hands regularly.
"It’s also important to remember that the NHS is still here for all those who need it. Even if you are shielding or isolating at home, please contact your GP or use the NHS 111 service if you need help for your physical or mental health."
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