Hospital cancels operations as coronavirus patient numbers return to levels last seen in May

In statement the hospital said it had seen a spike in admissions in the last few days with 100 coronavirus patients now on the wards with 30 patients needing ocygen support – the highest number of any hospital in the northeast and Yorkshire region.

A hospital in Yorkshire has said it is cancelling planned surgeries for at least two weeks as the number of coronavirus patients there hits levels not seen since May.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals said it was being forced to stop non-urgent surgery and outpatient appointments for two weeks from Tuesday because of the numbers of severely ill Covid-19 patients.

It also said more patients were needing ventilators to help them breathe in intensive care.

The trust is the latest to announce cancellations, joining the University Hospitals of Birmingham, Nottingham University Hospitals and Plymouth Hospitals as well as those in Liverpool and Manchester where hundreds of Covid patients are being looked after.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals Trust serves a population of around 500,000 and has about 900 beds in total.

The northeast and Yorkshire region has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks and on Wednesday it was announced South Yorkshire would  be put into the highest local Covid alert level, tier three, from Saturday.

Bradford hospital chief executive Mel Pickup said: “This surge is now at levels similar to the peak of the first wave in May. Unfortunately, because of this, we have to pause some non-urgent surgery and face-to-face outpatient appointments for the next two weeks.

“It’s not a decision we have taken lightly, but we must create as much bed capacity and free up clinical staff within our hospitals to help us manage this surge in Covid-19 patients.”

She urged any patient with life-threatening emergencies and those with cancer and other serious conditions to continue to come to the hospital for treatment.

Maternity services will operate as normal and doctors will review waiting lists to ensure patients in high clinical need will be seen first.

Prof Pickup added the hospital was planning to use the Yorkshire Clinic private hospital to do some surgery and diagnostic work for urgent patients.

She added: “The situation in our hospitals is very challenging, but with great support from our partners across the Bradford health and care system we are working hard to reduce admissions and support people to remain at home, or to be safely discharged from hospital as soon as it’s appropriate.

“I appreciate fully that behind the numbers on a waiting list are real people, with busy lives to juggle, who have been self-isolating before coming into hospital, hoping to get their treatment over and done with as soon as possible.

“To those people, I want to say we’re very sorry for the inconvenience this may cause, but please understand that we have to take this action to keep our hospitals safe for everyone while we deal with the worst effects of this virus.”

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