Health

There have been 4,075 cases of coronavirus so far this week in Greater Lincolnshire as further investigations are launched into a testing lab which could have wrongly told 43,000 people their tests were negative.

The figure is 12.2% higher than the 3,578 cases at the same point last week. There have been 1,599 new cases since Wednesday evening’s figures.

The latest government data also shows there have been 12 deaths of Lincolnshire residents – up from seven last week – and six deaths reported at Greater Lincolnshire’s hospitals – the same as last week.

Since Wednesday’s figures, the latest COVID stats for Lincolnshire are:

  • 1,599 new cases of coronavirus in Greater Lincolnshire with 1,235 in Lincolnshire, 159 in North East Lincolnshire and 205 in North Lincolnshire
  • Five further deaths were recorded in the government figures including three Lincolnshire, one North East Lincolnshire and one North Lincolnshire residents
  • Hospital data showed two further deaths with one at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and one at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals Trust

In other news, a testing centre in Wolverhampton has been suspended after an investigation by NHS Test and Trace found that 43,000 people in England and Wales may have been falsely told there COVID-19 tests were negative.

Further investigations are taking place to find out why it took so long to identify the failures at the private laboratory which were sparked by concerns when people had positive lateral flow tests, but negative follow-up PCR results from the lab between September 8 and October 12 this year.

All samples from the lab, where Immensa Health Clinic Ltd runs the testing operations, are now being sent to other labs.

Lincolnshire’s coronavirus cases up to October 15. | Image: GOV.uk

Elsewhere, the latest Office for National Statistics figures showed that one in 60 people in England had COVID in the most recent week. It compares to the peak of the second wave in early January when around one in 50 was estimated to have COVID.

The UK Health Security Agency, however, has said England’s R number has held steady at 0.9 to 1.1.

It means that for every 10 people infected, they will on average infect between 9 and 11 other people.

NHS England says more than three million booster jabs have now been administered, with two in five people aged 50 and over coming forward.


Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Friday, October 15

126,349 cases (up 1,599 since Wednesday)

  • 83,377 in Lincolnshire (up 1,235)
  • 20,908 in North Lincolnshire (up 205)
  • 22,064 in North East Lincolnshire (up 159)

2,373 deaths (up five)

  • 1,736 from Lincolnshire (up three)
  • 325 from North Lincolnshire (up one)
  • 312 from North East Lincolnshire (up one)

of which 1,426 hospital deaths (up two)

  • 875 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (up one)
  • 44 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
  • 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
  • 506 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (up one)
DATA SOURCE — FIGURES CORRECT AT THE TIME OF THE LATEST UPDATE. POSTCODE DATA INCLUDES DEATHS NOT IN HEALTHCARE FACILITIES OR IN HOSPITALS OUTSIDE AUTHORITY BOUNDARIES.

Protestors were chanting “no ifs, no buts, no A&E cuts” as they made their feelings known against plans for Grantham and District Hospital’s A&E department to become a 24/7 urgent treatment centre.

NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group has launched a 12-week public consultation on a series of plans for orthopaedic surgery, urgent and emergency care in Grantham, acute medical beds and stroke services in the county. The proposals are also hoping to tackle a shortage of specialist doctors, nurses and therapists.

An engagement event was held at the Jubilee Church Life Centre in Grantham on the evening of Thursday, October 14 for people to share their views on the proposed changes that health bosses believe will improve services. The public consultation started on September 30 and will run for 12 weeks until December 23.

Bosses say the changes will result in better access to urgent and emergency care, shorter waiting times, fewer cancellations of planned procedures and better retention of staff. However, local campaigners do not agree.

Campaigners made their voices heard with megaphones, chanting and horns. One of the protestors, Melissa Darcey, told BBC Look North: “There is a vast difference between an urgent treatment centre and an A&E and we’ve effectively gone from a major trauma centre to a glorified GP surgery, so I just dispute their argument that this is improvement.

“The more they cut our services to the bone the more people will lose their lives.”

This is not the first time there have been protests over changes to the hospital in Grantham.

Thousands turned out to campaign against planned cuts in October 2005 and years of protests followed. The A&E department temporarily closed overnight in 2016, but that then became permanent, prompting campaigners to take a protest and a petition to Downing Street.

Last year A&E was temporarily closed to keep the hospital COVID safe, but campaigners said they had been vindicated after a High Court judge ruled that United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust did not consult properly when it downgraded Grantham Hospital into a coronavirus-free site.

Meanwhile, NHS Lincolnshire CCG said there will be another engagement event in Lincoln between 6.30pm-8pm on Saturday, October 16 to share your views on the proposed changes at the county’s hospitals. Book your place and see the upcoming list of consultation events here.

Less than a quarter of Lincolnshire children aged 12-15 have so far been vaccinated for COVID according to government figures, despite a major push to promote the jab.

NHS vaccination data released on Thursday revealed that 1,126,365 doses COVID jabs had now been handed out in Lincolnshire.

There were 5,402 doses given out in the past week, 29% more doses than the previous week’s 4,196.

Of those, 543,789 were second jabs – around 86% of the total 634,453 population of Lincolnshire.

Some 564,361 people over the age of 18, and 18,215 under 18s have received their first dose, while 540,621 over 18s and 3,168 under 18s were double-dosed.

The figures mean that, in Lincolnshire, 3,314 first and 327 second doses were given to under 18s last week. Just 1,761 doses were given to over 18s.

In North East Lincolnshire a total of 217,641 doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 104,363 second doses.

In North Lincolnshire, 242,745 doses have been handed out, with 116,827 being double-jabbed.

A heatmap showing the vaccine take-up by age group.

Earlier this week government ministers wrote a public letter urging parents to vaccinate children aged 12-15 as soon as possible.

They said children and young people had been “hugely affected” by the pandemic both in their education and their social life, and looked to reassure parents that evidence showed young people remained at very low risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

However, they said there was a “need to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19” and lessen the risk of children taking time off school.

In the latest government figures on Wednesday, just 21.1% of children in Lincolnshire aged 12-15 had reportedly taken up the vaccine, despite infection rates soaring to 2,319.5 per 100,000 in 10-14-year-olds and 879.2 in those aged 16-19.

In North East Lincolnshire, the figure was 16.3% with infection rates for 10-14s at 1,294.9 per 100,000 population and 15-19s at 763.6.

Finally, in North Lincolnshire just 15.6% of young people had a vaccine dose, with infection rates there hitting 2,225.5 for 10-14-year-olds and 1,238.9 for 15-19-year-olds.

“Vaccines are our best defence against COVID-19. They help protect young people, and benefit those around them.

“Vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on,” said the ministers on Monday.

Three million pupils aged between 12 and 15 across the UK have been eligible to receive a first COVID-19 jab as part of a rollout that began three weeks ago.

Parental consent forms are required for children aged 12 to 15 to be vaccinated.

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