Leeds hospital cancels operations as Covid patient numbers jump 30%

Bosses at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust said the numbers of Covid patients on its wards on Tuesday was now higher than the peak of the first wave in April. It had 263 patients in beds with 22 in critical care and was expecting these numbers to rise. A week ago there were 148 patients with coronavirus.

One of the largest NHS trusts in England has become the latest to announce it is being forced to cancel operations for patients after the number of coronavirus cases jumped 30 per cent over the weekend.

In a message to staff on Monday, shared with The Independent, deputy chief medical officer for the Leeds trust, David Berridge said: “Over the weekend and continuing today, our hospitals are under significant pressure due to the steep rise in patients testing positive for Covid-19.”

He said there were 239 patients with the virus in hospital on Monday with 25 in critical care. On Friday the trust had just 184 patients, showing numbers had jumped almost 30 per cent in just three days.

In a statement the trust confirmed “only essential operations” were taking place and warned of “difficult decisions” in the days ahead as patients were sorted by priority.

It said: “Not only is the number of Covid cases increasing but so is the rate of increase. Local modelling based on prevalence data indicates that it may continue to rise for the next two weeks. The majority of admissions over the weekend has been older people with respiratory conditions. The infection rate for over-59s has increased from 165 per 100,000 last Saturday to 269 per 100,000.”

It added: “We are standing down some planned operations due to current pressures which means that some patients will have their treatment postponed; only essential operations are going ahead in most cases.

“We have stopped elective inpatient orthopaedics at Chapel Allerton completely and we have begun a rolling programme of theatre closures to increase critical care capacity.

“We expect this to continue throughout the week, which means some difficult decisions as we prioritise cases of higher urgency. We are prioritising urgent treatments, including cancer operations.”

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