Covid patient numbers at Harrogate hospital fall by 19 but figures remain above first peak
Harrogate hospital has seen its first significant drop in coronavirus patient numbers during the third lockdown but there are still more virus beds full than at the first peak.
NHS officials told a briefing of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum on Tuesday that the hospital was treating 48 Covid-positive patients - down by 19 from the previous week.
It is the first significant reduction in the figures since the start of the year and comes after pressure peaked earlier this month when 67 virus patients were in beds.
The hospital, however, is still the only one in North Yorkshire that is treating more patients than during the first wave and the continued pandemic pressures coupled with winter demands means non-Covid health services are being impacted.
A spokesperson for the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are working hard to reschedule appointments and operations impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic for as soon as possible. However, the pandemic means that for many of our patients there will be a delay, and waiting times will be longer than we would normally expect.
“We appreciate this can be a worrying time for patients. We know that people will want their procedure as soon as possible, and that waiting may be frustrating."
The hospital has reported nine coronavirus-related deaths in the last seven days, according to NHS figures, with its death toll since the pandemic began now standing at 156.
Meanwhile, Harrogate's seven-day infection rate per 100,000 people currently stands at 88. This is below the England average of 116.
In January, Harrogate hospital announced it was postponing some non-urgent surgery, although urgent cases and cancer care would not be affected.
A hospital trust spokesperson added: "We are sorry for any delay that is experienced, and we are continuing to work hard to provide timely care.
“We are all determined to do all we can to provide good care for patients and work together to do this. Colleagues both in hospital and in community services have been absolutely fantastic throughout the pandemic and despite the ongoing challenges, continue to be.”
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter