COVID deaths continue to fall in east London hospitals

The number of COVID patients dying in east London hospitals has dropped for the third week in a row.

Last week (February 22 to 28), 25 patients with COVID-19 died at seven major hospitals across inner and outer east London.

This is compared to 40 patients the week before and 53 patients before that and represents a dramatic reduction from mid-January when, on average, 20 patients were dying a day.

Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs Whipps Cross in Leytonstone and four inner east London hospitals, and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which runs King George Hospital in Redbridge and Queen’s Hospital at Romford, were the two worst-hit by the pandemic in London.

The number of deaths at the two trusts has been similar for the past three weeks, despite Barts managing more than double the number of hospitals.

At a recent BHRUT board meeting, it was reported that the trust had struggled with a sharp rise in COVID outbreaks in its hospitals after tests failed to catch the new UK variant.

The trust’s board also issued an apology and vowed to do better after the relative of a man who died of the virus last year said its communication had “made a terrible situation worse”.

As well as reporting the deaths which took place this week, NHS figures also reveal the number of deaths from previous weeks retroactively linked to the virus.

This means the total number of deaths – both current and historic – announced by the two trusts over the past three weeks is 223.

Of these, 101 were confirmed by BHRUT, while the remaining 122 were at the five hospitals run by Barts.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter