Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Local hospitals facing significant COVID-19 pressure
Medical professional looking stressed in a hospital

Local hospitals facing significant COVID-19 pressure

by Jonathan Kearney

As Knowsley continues to see high rates of COVID-19 within its communities, Merseyside hospitals (including Whiston Hospital, Aintree University Hospital and Royal Liverpool University Hospital) are reporting significant increases in the number of patients they are treating for COVID-19.

On 12 January, there were 178 new patients with COVID admitted in our local hospitals – this was up from 43 admissions just two weeks earlier on 29 December. As at 12 January, there are 1,051 beds being used in for COVID patients.

The rates of admission clearly reflect the transmission of the virus within the community.

At a local level, Whiston Hospital in one day (12 January) had 29 patients admitted for COVID-19. A full ward has 33 patients so one day alone almost filled an entire ward.

Professor Rowan Pritchard Jones, Medical Director at St Helens and Knowsley NHS Teaching Hospitals said managing these levels of activity is putting a “huge strain” on resources and staff and has made a plea to the local community to help stop the rapid rate of infection.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care said:

“There is no doubt that the pressure being placed on our local health services in increasing and that is a big concern. We are particularly worried as we know that our high rates were being driven by our younger population – 17-24 years olds.  Younger people are much less likely to be hospitalised but they will undoubtedly pass the virus on to others – including the over 60s population and that is what we are starting to see now.  It is that group that is most at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, so we know that the coming weeks ahead will be crucial and our hospitals are likely to come under even more strain.”

Knowsley is currently experiencing one of the highest rates of infection anywhere in the country with data as of 14 January showing COVID rates being 1,177.9 per 100,000 population.