January 6, 2022 2.34 pm This story is over 29 months old

Rise in COVID patients in Northern Lincolnshire hospitals

A 20% increase in just two days

Northern Lincolnshire hospitals are facing a steep increase in the amount of COVID patients they are treating.

The number has climbed by 14 people in just two days.

A total of 81 people are being treated by Grimsby and Scunthorpe hospitals as of Thursday morning.

Of these, 38 are currently at Diana Princess of Wales Hospital (with two in ICU) and 43 at Scunthorpe General Hospital (with none in ICU).

This is up from 67 people on Tuesday.

The figures include all patients who were admitted due to COVID symptoms or tested positive in hospital.

Although COVID case rates have been soaring in northern Lincolnshire communities for several weeks, there is often a lag before hospital admissions start rising.

According to NHS data, this is the highest number of beds devoted to COVID patients since January last year.

Fortunately, only a hanful of COVID-related deaths were reported by the trust since in December but the increase will place added pressure on the already struggling health services.

Visiting has now been suspended at all Northern Lincolnshire hospitals amid rising cases.

For vulnerable patients who are receiving end-of-life care, or have a learning disability, dementia or mental health issues, visiting will still be decided on a case by case basis.

People should contact the ward directly to arrange this, and will need to present a negative lateral flow test.

Some hospital trusts declared critical incidents due to staff shortages in recent days.

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust was one of those which said the number of staff self-isolating meant that care would be affected.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust has assured patients they are currently coping with the very heavy workload.

People have been told to avoid A&E unless it is a genuine emergency.

The trust has issued a statement online saying: “Do you really need to come to A&E? Your health will always be our priority and our teams are working extremely hard to provide emergency care to those who need it.

“However, our hospitals in Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole are experiencing very high levels of demand.

“We also have high numbers of patients on our wards and increasing numbers of COVID-19 positive inpatients. If you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do, please call the NHS 111 line for advice from their specialist clinical team.

“You can also speak to your GP or pharmacist for advice and, if you live in North East Lincolnshire or are registered with a GP in the area, you can call the Single Point of Access (SPA) clinical team on 01472 256256.

“Anyone coming to A&E who doesn’t need urgent emergency treatment is likely to have a long wait, as we will always prioritise seeing patients in the greatest need of our care. Thank you for your understanding.”