Posted: Thu 21st Jan 2021

North Wales health board critical care beds running at almost 180% of normal capacity

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jan 21st, 2021

Betsi Cadwaladr primary and community care director has revealed critical care beds are running at almost 180% of normal capacity in North Wales’ major hospitals. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Dr Chris Stockport was presenting a coronavirus update to Thursday’s board meeting when he gave out the figures. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He said the worst rates of infection were in the east of the region, predominantly in Wrexham and Flintshire, with Wrexham’s Maelor hospital seeing the most inpatients admitted weekly – around 60 this week and the same number last week. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Dr Stockport warned, despite what appears to be a levelling off of new infections, hospital admissions because of Covid would continue to rise “for a number of weeks”. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He said: “I am concerned that the Covid admissions in the last couple of weeks to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwynedd are rising and that’s something we will have to keep a close eye on.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He said that, although half of all admissions were in the over-70s age group, it was not just limited to older people and warned young people if they thought they were not at risk from the virus they were “simply wrong”. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Dr Stockport revealed  a “disproportionate number of patients” were being looked after at Wrexham Maelor, which has more than a third of the 284 inpatients currently being treated for Covid across the region. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Around a quarter of admissions were at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and the rest were being treated at Ysbyty Enfys Deeside, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Ysbyty Gwynedd and various community hospitals. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Critical care beds have reached 90% of the board’s “surge capacity” – or the amount of extra beds laid on to meet demand. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It means that, across the three main general hospitals, 64 critical care beds were being used, almost 80% above the usual 36 available. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The prolonged pandemic was also affecting staff, with the largest number of health staff testing positive for Covid found in the eastern region – followed by the central area. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The availability of around 280 staff is affected by shielding advice, further depleting numbers on call. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Because of the pressures on the eastern area of the health board, some planned care had been moved from Wrexham Maelor to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwynedd for a two-week period, with staff redeployed. The situation will be reviewed on Monday next week. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Dr Stockport praised the work of critical care teams as he revealed in excess of 20 patients had spent more than three weeks in the board’s intensive therapy units (ITU). ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He said: “It has been a phenomenal response from the intensive care and respiratory therapy teams. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“They have witnessed some tragic stories which takes a psychological toll – with 16 people under the age of 40 have been in critical care. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Staff have been engaged in 18 national and international research trials at the same time. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“If you need critical care you will receive some of the best critical care anywhere in the world in North Wales.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter (more here). ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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