Harrogate District Hospital reaches 200 Covid deaths as boss warns pandemic 'hasn't gone away'

Harrogate District Hospital has reached 200 Covid deaths in another sad milestone which has prompted its chief executive to warn the pandemic "hasn't gone away".

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 1:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 1:38 pm
Harrogate District Hospital.

Steve Russell said every life lost to Covid is a "tragedy" as he urged the unvaccinated to come forward before winter to avoid another increase in hospitalisations and deaths.

He said: "Since the start of the pandemic we have provided the highest possible level of care to every patient that has contracted the virus.

"Whilst the majority of people recover, unfortunately some do not and our heartfelt sympathies go out to their families and friends.

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“It is very sad to see that deaths from Covid-19 have increased recently and I hope that the national booster campaign, and allowing children as young as 12 to be vaccinated, will begin to have an effect and prevent a surge in hospital admissions."

The latest death of a patient who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid was reported by the hospital on Monday when its toll since the pandemic began reached 200.

As of this day, there were 12 Covid-positive patients at the hospital – a figure which has fallen from 25 over the last month.

And according to Public Health England figures, there have been a total of 357 deaths in the Harrogate district where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate.

This includes deaths at the hospital, care homes and private homes.

The rate of Covid deaths has remained stable since the two deadliest waves peaked in April 2020 and January 2021, while infections have been more volatile in recent months.

And it is thought there could be another increase in cases following the emergence of the Omicron variant which prompted the return of rules on face masks and the extension of the booster programme.

Health officials in North Yorkshire have described the variant as a "bump in the road" as they also urged greater take up in the vaccine rollout which is now being extended to offer boosters to all over-18s by the end of January.

Mr Russell added: “Winter is typically a busy time for the NHS, when we see more people suffering from respiratory conditions such as flu, and the level of emergency department attendances increase.

"Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and it is important that we do all we can to prevent it from spreading.

"I would encourage anyone who has not already had their vaccinations or booster to do so as soon as possible and for parents to let their children have the jab if they are eligible for it.”

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter