Majority of Covid patients in intensive care wards in Welsh hospitals 'from deprived backgrounds'

Credit: PA Images

New figures show the majority of patients admitted to intensive care units in Welsh hospitals are from deprived backgrounds.

A report by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre found that from September 1 2020, the majority of patients in our Welsh intensive care wards who were critically ill with Covid-19 were from deprived backgrounds.

The report also found that most of those in intensive care with coronavirus between September 2020 and January 2021 were men in their 60s.  

Credit: Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre

The report comes after hospitals across Wales have been facing mounting pressures due to the rising number of patients being treated for coronavirus.

Staff at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend have told ITV Wales they're being 'pushed to the limit' - as the town records the highest Covid-19 rate in the UK.

Wrexham Maelor Hospital has postponed planned surgery due to the number of coronavirus patients admitted. This measure will be in place for an initial period of two weeks which will then be reviewed.

A second, more infectious strain of the virus is believed to be behind a sharp rise in confirmed cases across Wales.

Previously, the First Minister has said the the new strain has quickly taken a "firm foothold" in north Wales, where cases of the virus are rising quickly.

He added that the new strain is expected to become the dominant form of the virus in south Wales too.

The Welsh Government will aim to vaccinate 700,000 people by mid-February. The figure will include all care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care staff, everyone over 70 and anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

The health minister said all those over 50 will be vaccinated by the spring, while all other age groups will get a vaccine by autumn.

Credit: PA Images

Vaughan Gething MS said: ''If we can vaccinate this group, it would protect the people most at risk of serious illness and harm if they catch coronavirus. 

''By the spring, subject to supply, we will have offered vaccination to everyone in the phase one priority groups – that’s everyone over 50 and all those who are at risk because they have an underlying health condition.

 ''By the autumn, our focus will be on offering Covid vaccines to everyone else.''