Number of patients with coronavirus at Birmingham's hospitals doubles in a week

The number of patients with coronavirus at Birmingham's hospitals has doubled in a week.
Credit: ITV News Central

The number of patients with coronavirus at Birmingham's hospitals has doubled in a week.

University Hospitals Birmingham chiefs are preparing for those figures to rise as infection rates in the community continue to stay at high levels.

The amount of people critically ill in intensive care units at the Queen Elizabeth and Heartlands hospitals has gone up - from seven last week to 15 today.

They are among 60 patients battling the virus in UHB hospitals. Another 40 current in-patients have previously tested positive but are no longer deemed 'actively infected'.

Credit: ITV News Central

Just a week ago, the number of actively infected patients was 32, among 68 in all.

At the time, hospital chief executive Dr David Rosser warned: "We have seen hospital admissions double in a week and I expect it to double in the next week again - it's an exponential curve. We are in the foothills of that curve."

Meanwhile, Dr Mark Garvey, consultant clinical scientist for the hospitals trust, said: "Coronavirus has never really gone away."

The trust's Chief Nurse Lisa Stalley-Green said clinical staff and the hospitals were ready to respond should the current rising rates of infection lead to more hospitalisations.

When asked whether the hospitals were prepared for a second wave of Covid-19, she said: "In terms of readiness, absolutely yes. We continually plan and flex and we are able to flex our offer in terms of staff and wards.

"It is really challenging for us - and obviously it can affect other work we would like to do."

Ms Stalley-Green said focusing some cancer and elective surgery treatment at Solihull Hospital - a Covid-free setting - was central to the ability to focus staff around Covid-19 where needed.

She said hospital staff at UHB had proven they can respond before - and they would again if required.

"We are really proud of the work the staff have done," she added.