Numbers of Covid-positive patients have doubled at Banbury's Horton and Oxford hospitals - but nowhere near figures this time last year
Numbers of patients with Covid-19 have risen sharply in Oxfordshire over the last week - more than doubling - but are nowhere near the crisis figures of early 2021.
This is the outlook given by Oxford University Hospitals Trust (OUH) - which runs Banbury' s Horton, the JR, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and Churchill hospitals - whose figures at the weekend showed 81 Covid-positive inpatients across OUH today (Monday) as opposed to 40 on Christmas Eve.
A spokesman said numbers have increased steadily over the last few weeks but are well below the numbers seen last December and January. Plans for any escalation are reviewed daily.
By way of comparison, on New Year’s Eve 2020 the OUH had 211 Covid-positive inpatients in its hospitals and by January 18, 2021 had 327 Covid-positive inpatients.
However difficulties in staffing are being felt currently as members of teams across the hospitals test positive for the virus or have to self-isolate because a contact or family member has tested positive.
"The figures outlined don’t differentiate between patients admitted for treatment for Covid-19 specifically and patients who may have been admitted for other reasons but who have Covid," the spokesman said.
"We continue to carefully monitor the impact of rising numbers of Covid-positive inpatients on our hospitals, with daily meetings involving clinicians and an OUH Covid-19 Response Plan shared with all staff to explain how the Trust could expand the areas in our hospitals needed to accommodate Covid-19 patients and redeploy staff, if this becomes necessary in the coming weeks.
"We would encourage everyone to help protect their local NHS and our frontline staff, who have been working throughout the festive period to care for patients, by using the right service and in particular by only using our Emergency Departments at the Horton General and at the JR when necessary.
"We do have staff off work because they are either COVID positive or self isolating – but again, the numbers are well below the position at this time last year so yes, it’s an added pressure but it’s not yet as big an issue as it was 12 months ago."
The Trust urged everyone to get their vaccinations and, when appropriate, their booster jabs.