140 patients caught Covid-19 at hospitals in Bristol and Weston with more than a third dying

Bristol Weston NHS Trust
The medical director of the NHS Trust has apologised 'unreservedly' to the families of those who died. Credit: ITV News West Country

It has been revealed 140 people caught Covid-19 as inpatients at hospitals in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare - with over a third of them dying.

The University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust has said that following its investigation into an outbreak of coronavirus at Weston General Hospital, it looked into every case across all its sites.

The trust runs hospitals, including Weston General and Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Its medical director, William Oldfield, said that 140 people "probably or definitely" caught the virus whilst at hospital in the five months from March 2020.

Of those, 51 patients passed away - with the investigation concluding that in 24 cases, the infection "may have contributed to their death".

Dr Oldfield said: “As part of our review we have identified that from the beginning of March to the end of July in our Bristol and Weston hospitals there were a total of 31,169 inpatients.

"Over this timeframe we have identified 140 inpatients who we believe have probably or definitely caught COVID-19 while they were in hospital. Fifty-one of those 140 patients have sadly passed away.

"We are deeply sorry to have identified that in 24 of these patients the infection may have contributed to their death."

The NHS Trust has admitted that Covid-19 may have contributed to the deaths of 24 patients who caught the disease in their care. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Trust has said it is now contacting the families of the patients to inform them of the outcome of the review.

It has also said it will offer them support and "apologise unreservedly".

Individual investigations into the circumstances leading up to each person's death will also be carried out.

Dr Oldfield continued: “The safety of our patients and staff continues to be our main priority and I’d like to reassure patients and families that the Trust has followed and continues to follow appropriate national guidance including that for COVID-19 testing, zoning patients and the correct use of Personal Protective Equipment.

“Across the Trust, we test every patient on admission and we are also routinely testing andswabbing every inpatient every week so we are monitoring their status and can take action if there is any potential hospital transmission as soon as we detect it.

“We recognise that other patients and families may have concerns and if people would like to contact us regarding this matter, they can do so by contacting the Trust on 0117 342 1053 between 9am and 4pm Monday-Friday.

In September 2020 it was revealed that as many as 18 people may have died as a result of contracting coronavirus at Weston General Hospital. Credit: ITV News West Country

In September, the Trust revealed that as many as 18 people may have died as a result of contracting coronavirus at Weston General Hospital whilst they were being treated there for other conditions.

Dr Oldfield said: “Reviewing the case notes for patients at all our hospitals is an important step as part of our commitment to ensuring we have learned from the outbreak in Weston and taking any necessary steps to prevent such a situation happening again.

"We remain committed to also contributing to the learning of our partners and the wider NHS in the on-going management of COVID-19 during a global pandemic.”