Dozens of people died after catching Covid in Cornwall hospitals

Cornwall Hospitals
The Royal Cornwall Hospital Credit: CornwallLive/BPM

Dozens of people died after contracting coronavirus in Cornwall hospitals, it has been revealed.

More than 50 people died after contracting Covid-19 in hospitals run by the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust.

The trust is responsible for the Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske, in Truro, West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance and St Michael’s Hospital in Hayle.

The figures were provided via a freedom of information request submitted by The Guardian.

Nationwide the data revealed as many as 8,7000 people died after contracting the virus. But 45 acute hospitals did not respond to the request - including three in the West Country.

Of the trusts which did provide data to The Guardian, Cornwall had the sixth highest percentage of Covid deaths for patients infected while already admitted to a hospital.

The figures show 166 patients 'probably' or 'definitely' contracted the virus while admitted to its hospitals between March 1 last year and March 1 this year.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Credit: CornwallLive/BPM

The Trust said it is "determined" to learn from events after experiencing "three significant outbreaks" in areas where patients had been admitted with pre-existing frailty or co-morbidities which, together with a long length of stay, made them susceptible to Covid-19 infection.

In total, 55 out of of then 166 people who caught the virus in Cornwall hospitals later died either at home or in hospital. This means 33 per cent of patients who contracted the virus while in one of the Trust's hospitals later died.

This means that 55 of the 457 (12%) people who died within 28 days of a positive Covid test between this period in Cornwall overall had contracted the virus in one of its hospitals.

Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, said hospital-acquired Covid “remains one of the silent scandals of this pandemic, causing many thousands of avoidable deaths”.

As many as 8,700 patients died across England after catching Covid-19 while in hospitals, according to data from other NHS Trusts.



A spokesperson for Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We have done our utmost to prevent the transmission Covid-19 in our hospitals and have followed national guidance as it has evolved throughout the pandemic.

“Despite our efforts we experienced three significant outbreaks in areas where patients had been admitted with pre-existing frailty and co-morbidities which together with a long length of stay made them susceptible to Covid-19 infection.

“Covid-19 has had a tragic impact on many people, their families and communities, and our staff, who have worked their hardest throughout the pandemic.

"We are devastated by the loss of life due to this pandemic and our thoughts are with all those who have suffered as a result. We are determined to continually improve and learn from these events.”


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