Derbyshire sees its worst week ever for Covid cases
Derbyshire has seen its worst week ever for Covid cases, as the number of hospital inpatients with the virus continues to rise.
The current number of Covid-19 cases being recorded each week in Derbyshire is significantly higher than the county witnessed in January, before high levels of vaccinations dramatically reduced the figures.
In the week to October 14, it clocked more than 6,000 cases, 16 per cent higher than in January.
There were three times more cases in Derbyshire in the most recent week (Oct 11-17) than in the same week last year (5,838 compared to 1,806) and September this year saw almost 14 times as many Covid cases as September 2020 (17,989 compared to 1,297).
The current surge in infections is said to focus on the school-age population and staff, parents and guardians connected to those schools and pupils.
While the level of patients with the virus in our hospitals is far lower than in January, it has increased in recent weeks, putting more pressure on our stretched healthcare system.
There are now 117 inpatients with Covid-19 in our hospitals, with 54 at Royal Derby Hospital, 49 at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and 14 at Queen’s Hospital in Burton.
Of these patients, 14 are in intensive care due to significant illness, with seven at Chesterfield Royal, six at Royal Derby and one at Queen’s.
The key advice from health officials remains to get your Covid-19 jabs when you are offered them, with everyone aged 12 and above now eligible for at least one vaccine.
In Derbyshire, 71.66 per cent of the entire population is vaccinated against Covid-19, with 66.69 per cent fully jabbed (two in every three people).
Meanwhile, 86.37 per cent of Derbyshire’s adult population (18+) have received one vaccine and 82.74 per cent have had both jab doses.
This is a key reason why health officials saw hospital inpatient numbers remain far lower, despite high community infection rates.
In January, there were more than 700 Covid inpatients in our hospitals, but the current level stands at a fraction of that figure.
However, our health system is currently running all out trying to catch up on waiting list backlogs and all services are operational – while in January most were paused. So while Covid activity is lower, the pressure on staff is higher.
This week Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We don’t believe the current pressures faced by the NHS are unsustainable.”
He said Covid deaths remained “mercifully low” at more than 100 per day.
The data for Derbyshire shows seven Covid-19 deaths in the most recent week, down from 15 and 23 in the two previous weeks respectively.
Mr Javid said it is “more likely” the nation will see more restrictions if people do not voluntarily take actions like wearing facemasks.
He said it was key that anyone who is offered a Covid booster jab promptly accepts it, ahead of a turbulent winter.
A spokesperson for No 10 said: “We’ve set out our autumn and winter plan in terms of Plans A and B, and continue to look at the latest scientific data.”
Plan A involves providing jabs to secondary school pupils and booster jabs to those aged 50+, the more clinically vulnerable and frontline health and social care workers.
Plan B entails the reintroduction of compulsory masks, instructions to work at home again, and potentially Covid passports for clubs and concerts in England.
The spokesperson said: “There isn’t any proposed plan for any further lockdowns. We are sticking to the autumn and winter plan we have set out.”
Berenice Groves, deputy chief executive and chief operating officer at Chesterfield Royal
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The trust is extremely busy at the moment, along with the whole health system, however we continue to give our patients the best care possible and I would like to thank our hard-working colleagues for their continued dedication.
“We are working with our partners across Derbyshire to monitor the situation and we are grateful to our patients, visitors and colleagues for following important infection control safety measures by wearing a mask and washing their hands.
“To help relieve the pressure on our services, people should visit NHS111 online: (https://111.nhs.uk/), or call: 111 before coming to the emergency department unless their condition is serious or life-threatening.
“NHS 111 provides medical assessment quickly and if you do need urgent care then they can direct you to the quickest and most appropriate services.”