Plymouth hospital cancels routine operations due to rise in coronavirus cases

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has cancelled some routine operations to make room for Covid-19 cases.

A hospital in Plymouth has become the latest to cancel routine operations to make way for Covid-19 patients.

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust said it was temporarily pausing non-critical planned surgery at Derriford Hospital due to a rise in cases.

Chief operating officer Kevin Baber apologised to patients but said “safety was the top priority”.

Derriford is one of a number of hospitals in the UK to have cancelled or postponed planned procedures.

"Due to a growing number of Covid patients and a need to ensure we can keep everyone safe we continue to temporarily pause non-critical inpatient surgery at Derriford Hospital,” he said.

"Please note that surgery for patients attending the hospital as day cases, without needing an overnight stay, is still going ahead for most patients.

Offering an apology to patients, he said it was a difficult decision but safety was the top priority.

We have to ensure patients who have suspected or confirmed Covid are safely cared for away from those patients without Covid. This involves reconfiguring our wards to ensure everyone remains safe.

Kevin Baber, chief operating officer at Derriford Hospital

It comes after hospitals in other parts of the UK also scaled back their planned procedures to make room for potential coronavirus cases.

On October 12, NHS England's medical director said hospitals in the North West and North East could end up treating more patients than they did during the peak of the first wave of Covid-19.

Professor Stephen Powis said hospitals are coming under increasing pressure as he announced plans for three temporary Nightingale hospitals to mobilise to deal with any surge in admissions.

Some hospitals have reported a rise in patients with coronavirus.

In a stark address to the public at the Downing Street press briefing, Prof Powis said the NHS is open for all patients but keeping coronavirus infections under control is the key to other patients getting the treatment they need.

"Liverpool University Hospital has the highest number of Covid-19 patients, currently more than 250 patients with Covid in its beds," he said.

In the last four weeks, hospitals in the North West and the North East have witnessed a seven-fold increase in Covid patients in their intensive care units. And if infections continue to rise, in just four more weeks they could be treating more patients than they were during the peak of the first wave.

Professor Stephen Powis

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