Face mask policy returned as King’s Mill Hospital sees 250 per cent rise in patients positive with Covid

Hospital bosses said the reintroduction of the need to wear masks in its sites came after the number of patients positive for Covid increased by about 250 per cent in a month.

By Andrew Topping
Saturday, 9th July 2022, 8:13 am
Updated Monday, 11th July 2022, 2:16 pm

Directors at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Sutton’s King’s Mill and Mansfield Community hospitals, have also returned to holding their monthly meeting virtually after 10 outbreaks were discovered.

The trust has confirmed it has about 70 people across its sites who are currently positive for the virus, which is up from 20 this time last month.

Staff absences are also two percentage points higher a month ago.

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King's Mill Hospital, Sutton.

It coincides with a similar increase in positive tests nationally as two new strains of the Omicron variant make their way through the population.

Trust bosses had previously relaxed face covering guidance earlier as transmission began to decrease, marking the first time in more than two years staff could work without personal protective equipment.

However, Paul Robinson, trust chief executive, confirmed the move has now been reversed amid rising transmission of the virus.

Government figures show the current rate for Ashfield is 219.9 cases per 100,000 people, after 282 people tested positive in the most recent seven-day period, up from 137.9 cases per 100,000 people a week earlier.

In Mansfield, the rate is 211.2 per 100,000 people.

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Mr Robinson said the trust has taken some precautionary measures as it is hard to say when this ‘surge is likely to peak’.

He told the latest board meeting: “Our Covid numbers are up.

“Patient numbers are about about 70, up from 20 this time last month, with staff absences up to 6 per cent compared with 4 per cent last month.

“You can see there has been an increase in community transmission and the impact it is having on our hospital.

“As a result, we’ve reintroduced the need to wear face coverings in all areas.

“Our staff have done a very impressive job throughout the pandemic and it continues, and at the moment we can’t see when this latest surge is likely to peak.”

He said wards remain under ‘intense pressure’, with wider attendance at the emergency department above pre-pandemic levels.

He said wait times are ‘longer than we would like’ due to ‘continued difficulties’ in timely discharges for existing patients.