A “pretty dramatic increase” in the number of people being treated in hospital for Covid has been recorded on the Fylde coast.
Dr Jim Gardner, medical director at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Clifton Hospital in St Annes, said the surge was “putting additional pressure on the system”.
Speaking during a coronavirus briefing this afternoon, Dr Gardner said 87 patients within 14 days of a first positive Covid test were in hospital – up from 54 last Wednesday – plus 39 who are “in because of Covid but are beyond 14 days”.
Some 77 people were in general beds at the Vic, seven were in the intensive care unit there, while three were at Clifton Hospital.
Inside Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ITU) (Picture: Chimane Moore)
“Sixty-seven patients are over the age of 65 and, in fact, 26 are over the age of 85,” Dr Gardner said.
“I haven’t got a breakdown of the full immunisation status for all of them but some will have had two immunisations and will have benefitted from that, there’s no question.
“But the point I want to get across is that we are seeing Covid affecting again the older population who are coming into hospital.
“Even though we are seeing more infections in the younger population, we are seeing more hospitalisations in the older population.”
Dr Gardner said the availability of booster jabs for over-50s and over-16s who are clinically vulnerable, which can be had six months after the first jab, is “exceptionally positive”.
He added: “It appears to be extremely effective in improving everybody’s immunity to Covid so I strongly recommend people get that when it becomes available.
“And if you’re in those groups you will be contacted by the NHS for an appointment.”
Pregnant women continue to be admitted to hospital, Dr Gardner said.
Six more Covid-related deaths were also announced, taking the Vic’s toll to 834.
Restrictions on visitors to the two hospitals are likely to be put in place once again, with people urged to check ahead before heading in.