Covid deaths increase at Queen's and King George hospitals this week

King George Hospital

King George Hospital - Credit: Archant

The number of people who died from coronavirus at Queen's and King George hospitals in the past week has seen a slight increase.

There were a total of 124 Covid-related deaths across both hospitals for the week up until Wednesday (January 20), according to the latest data from the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trusts (BHRUT).

That is an increase of five deaths, after 119 people died from the virus the previous week.

It means there have now been 1,277 Covid deaths at the hospitals in Romford and Goodmayes since the pandemic began in March 2020.

However, there is quiet cause for optimism as other figures suggest east London may be turning a corner, such as the number of people discharged.

In the past week, 357 people left the hospitals having recovered from the virus, an increase of 278 last week, while the number of Covid patients occupying beds dropped from 492 to 404 this week.

Crucially, the number of those diagnosed in the past 24 hours also dropped from 79 people to 46.

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The number of people taking up critical care beds saw a slight decrease but remains broadly stable, with 51 patients in intensive care this week, compared to 57 the week before.

Meanwhile, overstretched nurses will be relieved to see the percentage of intensive care beds dropping to 88 per cent occupied - still a concerning figure but a seven per cent drop on last week.

More absent staff are returning to work, with just 634 staff off this week - down from 685 the week before.

That number includes 31 employees currently self-isolating and 142 who have tested positive for Covid.

The trust sent out a letter to the families of its staff this week, to thank them for their support during the crisis.

Signed by chair Mike Bell and chief executive Tony Chambers, it read: "You don’t need us to tell you how tough it is. You may have been affected when we cancelled leave in January.

"On occasion, your loved one may have returned home in tears after a particularly draining shift. It must be difficult for you to witness."

The hospitals celebrated reaching 10,000 people vaccinated earlier this week, while the trust also launched an appeal for volunteers to support end of life patients.

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