Urgent care at King's Mill Hospital under ‘sustained pressure’ amid high Covid transmission

Urgent care services at Sutton’s King’s Mill Hospital has faced ‘sustained pressure’ in recent weeks as Covid transmission rates remain high.

By Andrew Topping
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 1:45 pm

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs King’s Mill, as well as Mansfield Community and Newark hospitals, has urged staff and public to remain ‘vigilant’ amid an ongoing surge in positive tests nationwide.

Transmission rates across the country have been at their highest rate since the start of the coronavirus pandemic two years ago, with as many as five million people thought to have the virus.

It comes as free community testing comes to an end, despite warnings from experts that the scheme is ‘vital’ to keep the disease under control.

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King's Mill Hospital, Sutton, and, inset, Simon Barton, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust chief operating officer.

Government data shows 81 people were admitted to SFH with Covid in the most recent seven-day period.

A total of 3,924 people have been admitted to the trust with Covid since the pandemic began.

And the latest available figures show 113 people are currently being treated in hospital having tested positive for the virus.

Hospital admissions for the virus have been on a gradual increase at the trust since the end of February, when the seven-day average was just 2.6.

Most recent figures show a seven-day admission average of 11.6 per day at the end of last month, close to the 11.9 figure on April 1, 2020, when the first wave of the virus took hold, but not reaching the same numbers as the major wave in January 2021, when the highest seven-day average was 25.7 admissions per day.

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However, Paul Robinson, trust chief executive, said Covid ‘remains a factor’ in the ongoing pressure being felt by the trust’s urgent care hubs.

He told the latest board of directors meeting: “Our urgent care services have been under sustained pressure over the last two to three weeks.

“Covid remains a factor, transmission rates are high in the community and numbers remain high in hospitals.

“We remind staff and all our workforce colleagues to remain vigilant.”

It comes as the trust confirmed it is gearing up to begin administering an expected further booster dose of the Covid vaccine in the autumn.

The trust’s vaccination hub, at King’s Mill, has administered more than 200,000 jabs since its launch in December 2020 and will be relocating to a permanent location at the site.

But one hospital director has warned high community transmission could impact vaccine uptake figures as more people test positive for Covid in Mansfield and Ashfield.

Latest infection rates show Ashfield had 745.7 cases of Covid per 100,000 people in the seven days to April 1, while Mansfield’s rate was 771.8.

Simon Barton, trust chief operating officer, said: “I suspect the high prevalence of Covid within the population at the moment will impact the vaccine numbers.

“This is because there’s a period of time before you can actually have the vaccine if you’ve had Covid and because I suspect there will be quite a lot of people who think ‘I don’t need to have the vaccine now’.”

Latest vaccination rates for Ashfield show 86.4 per cent of residents have had one dose, with 82.6 per cent taking up the second and 64.8 per cent having a third dose.

In Mansfield, these figures are 82.8 per cent, 78.8 per cent and 60.8 per cent respectively.