September 22, 2020 2.56 pm This story is over 43 months old

Lincolnshire hospitals boss worried about second COVID-19 wave

Already running at almost full capacity

Lincolnshire’s hospitals boss has confirmed staff are “naturally very concerned” about a second wave of coronavirus.

As of Tuesday, Lincoln, Boston and Grantham hospitals are 90% occupied and have just 11 available beds, ULHT Chief Executive Andrew Morgan told BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

At the time of publication, there were eight COVID-19 positive patients in the trusts hospitals, however, Mr Morgan said the number was again continuing to rise.

Andrew Morgan, chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust. Photo: ULHT

“Having gone through the first wave of COVID, we’re naturally very concerned we don’t want to return to that.

“We don’t want to see some of the care we currently provide going back to the March, July, August position.”

He said the latest figures showed just how things had changed.

“We are really, really busy with the normal pre-winter surge that people with respiratory issues or just generally not well.

“If we then had to do something COVID-related on top of that it would create some serious work and that would have a knock on effect on our ability to do those routine operations.”

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust took the decision to have a COVID-free hospital in Grantham earlier this year and Mr Morgan confirmed the move had enabled the trust to catch up on 746 operations as well as work through lists of patients that had been waiting for urgent clinical or cancer treatments.

“We would like to get more in and more done, but that’s one of the concerns we’d have about a further surge of COVID, what that would do to our ability to get through routine operations.

However, he said the Grantham facility would give the trust “an ability to have a release valve of still being able to do really important care for people who are desperate or have waited a long time under pain and stress.”

There were 21 new cases in Lincolnshire confirmed on Monday and so far in September there have been 415 cases of coronavirus across the whole of Greater Lincolnshire.

On Tuesday, council health bosses predicted there could be 500 new cases a day by mid-October should new measures not be taken, reflecting national predictions.

The Prime Minister announced a new set of rules to tackle the rise in cases, including wearing face masks almost everywhere, and a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants.