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Covid-19: Patient rise halts non-essential operations in Leeds

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image captionLeeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust runs Leeds General Infirmary and St James' Hospital

Most non-essential operations in Leeds are being postponed after the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients rose to a higher level than at the first wave's peak.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said it had 263 Covid patients on Tuesday, with 22 in intensive care units (ICU).

The trust runs Leeds General Infirmary and St James' Hospital and expects ICU numbers to go up in the next 48 hours.

It said "only essential operations are going ahead in most cases".

Hospital staff have been told the rapid rise of admissions means that it is "looking even more likely" that Leeds will be moved into tier three of coronavirus restrictions.

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The trust, which has about 1,800 beds, said there were 148 Covid patients in its hospital on Tuesday last week, a rise of 115, or 78%, in a week.

A spokesperson said: "We are standing down some planned operations due to current pressures which means that some patients will have their treatments postponed."

Tier 3 'inevitable'

In an internal statement obtained by The Independent, the trust's deputy chief medical officer David Berridge said: "This also means that it is looking even more likely that Leeds will move into tier three, following discussions across the city and with the government.

The trust statement continued: "Not only is the number of Covid cases increasing but so is the rate of increase.

"Local modelling based on prevalence data indicates that it may continue to rise for the next two weeks."

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said the majority of admissions over the weekend were older people with respiratory conditions.

West Yorkshire is yet to have any tier three restrictions imposed, unlike the surrounding counties of South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Talking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman believed tier three restrictions in nearby Kirklees were "inevitable", and could be imposed on the borough "quite soon".

But a statement by Kirklees Council's Outbreak Control Board, including Labour and Conservative MPs and cross-party councillors, said entering stricter measures would have a "devastating effect".

It said: "The closure of our pubs and bars will have a devastating impact on our economy and people's livelihoods, and we have not seen the evidence that this will directly impact on infection rates.

"We instead need to continue the work we are doing at a local level, on the ground, in our communities. We are already seeing positive results from this work, with Kirklees now having the lowest rates in West Yorkshire.

"We're urging the government to give us more resources to build on this."

On Monday, a trust running three hospitals in South Yorkshire and north Nottinghamshire said the number of patients it had admitted with Covid-19 had doubled in a week.

Rotherham Hospital also reported a jump in cases to beyond the spring peak.

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