Covid: Some non-urgent operations stopped at Harrogate Hospital after virus admissions double in a week
Harrogate Hospital has announced some non-urgent operations have been put on hold after the number of beds taken by Covid patients more than doubled within a week.
The hospital is currently caring for 46 coronavirus patients - a rise from 19 just a week ago.
"This is placing a significant strain on services at the trust," a hospital spokesperson said.
"In response to rising numbers we are increasing the number of beds available for patients with Covid-19 on wards and in critical care.
"In order to do this, we unfortunately have to postpone some planned elective surgery to free up staff to provide care for Covid-19 patients."
The hospital said urgent and cancer care will not be affected by the changes.
It comes as the hospital has reported five coronavirus-related deaths in the last four days, with its toll now standing at 116.
The rate of infection in Harrogate has also quadrupled since Christmas Day, although there are now signs it may be starting to fall with a drop from 496 cases per 100,000 people to 426 in the latest figures.
Dr Jacqueline Andrews, executive medical director at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, has issued a plea for people to stay at home to help keep the pressure off hospitals.
She said: “The vaccine means there is light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have some way to go.
“We know these next few weeks will be very tough, it impacts on all of us here as people. We have family, friends and loved ones too. Like everyone, we want to get back to normal as soon as is safely possible.
“Please look after yourself and your loved ones. Stay at home.”
Dr Andrews added: “Despite this significant increase in inpatients with Covid-19, the trust and the wider NHS remains open to all who need us.
"Please, do not put off attending appointments or speaking to a healthcare professional if you need to."
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter