A hospital boss had confirmed that 404 patients admitted to Northamptonshire's two general hospitals since the start of the pandemic caught Covid while in the hospital.
Deborah Needham, CEO of Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and interim hospital CEO for Northampton General Hospital confirmed after a question from this newspaper at tonight’s (Friday, January 29) county Covid press conference that 404 people had caught Covid-19 as a hospital acquired infection from the start of the pandemic in March.
She said that in comparison to the number, 2,400 people had been successfully treated for Covid and discharged from KGH and NGH.
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One Corby family is currently living through the consequences of one half of the couple contracting Covid in hospital.
Dennis Binks' wife Evelyn was admitted to KGH before Christmas after a flare up of her chronic COPD condition onto a 'Green' Covid-free ward.
It was while in the ward that a fellow patient was found to be Covid positive. All the other patients, including 71-year-old Mrs Binks, were put into an amber ward and on January 1, she was swabbed for Covid. The following day the test came back positive.
Fortunately, Mrs Binks recovered from the coronavirus and was then discharged back into Mr Bink's care after a ten-week hospitalisation.
Mr Binks, who has diabetes, diverticulitis and COPD, said: "I went to collect her from the hospital on Thursday and today I got a text saying 'Dear Evelyn, you recently tested positive for Covid-19', I thought it must have been an old message but it wasn't. She was sent out with Covid. They swabbed her on Wednesday and we got the message she was still positive when she was home.
"I called the ward and told them to come and get her."
Mr Binks will now have to isolate for ten days.
During the first lockdown, another Corby family suffered the loss of a much-loved member.
Gretton resident Terri Meechan's husband Mick Pavitt died in Kettering General Hospital on May 21 after being admitted for treatment for fluid on his lungs - it’s believed he caught Covid-19 while there.
Terri said: "It's just absolutely sad and tragic that it's got to that figure. When Mick caught it I never dreamt he would get it because we had been shielding. If he hadn't gone in, he would still be with us. We had been so careful with our hygiene measures - hand sanitiser and facemasks."
Because of the restriction on visiting, Terri and her daughter Clare, son Harry and granddaughter Eve were unable to see him during his hospital stay and weren’t with him when he died. The couple had been together for 43 years.
She said: "I got to speak to him on the phone before he died but we couldn't see him. We got to see him for five minutes when he had died. We couldn't even see him in the funeral parlour.
"It's something we have to live with.
"I go out once a week to the shops and it's so scary - people not keeping their distance or wearing their masks under their chins."
According to NHS England inpatients who should be tested for Covid 19 are:
(i) all patients at emergency admission, whether or not they have symptoms;
(ii) those with symptoms of Covid-19 after admission;
(iii) for those who test negative upon admission, a further single re-test should be conducted between five to seven days after admission;
(iv) test all patients on discharge to other care settings, including to care homes or hospices;
(v) elective patient testing prior to admission.