Number of coronavirus cases in South Essex hospitals falls

The number of Covid-19 patients being treated in intensive care across South Essex has fallen dramatically over the past month.

New figures published by the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust reveal there was just under 30 patients being treated in ICU wards on May 21 – down from more than 80 a month earlier.

Data for the trust, which covers hospitals in Basildon, Broomfield and Southend, also shows there was just 100 patients in hospital with the virus at the end of May, which is a decrease from the peak of almost 300 on April 13.

The drop is allowing hospitals to begin resuming many of their usual non-coronavirus related work.

However, a new report reveals the trust does not expect an end to the virus anytime soon.

Discussions are set to take place over the summer about what measures can be put in place to deal with cases for another two years.

The report, which will be discussed by Southend Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board next week, explained hospitals are “re-starting as much clinically urgent non-Covid work that we are able to”.

But changes introduced at the start of the pandemic will remain, including keeping emergency departments at all hospitals divided so there are separate routes and areas for patients who are suspected of having the virus.

The report continued: “We are having ongoing conversations with our clinical leaders to ensure the hospital is ‘zoned’ for Covid and non-Covid activity.

“This will also serve to reassure our patients who may be coming in for procedures and treatments.

“The Emergency Department will continue to operate as it has been with the ability to flex up and down its Covid and non-Covid areas as required.

“Alongside this we are developing a longer-term plan for implementation this summer on where we provide services in order to support a broader range of business as usual services alongside managing Covid demand for the next 18-24 months.”

The latest figures from Southend Council show there have been 405 confirmed cases within the borough and data from May 29, shows that of the 151 deaths 112 passed away in hospital.

Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter