Coronavirus: Harrogate hospital halts some elective surgery

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image captionThe number of patients with coronavirus in the hospital is higher than during the first wave in April 2020

A hospital has postponed some non-urgent surgery because increasing numbers of patients with Covid-19 are putting "a significant strain on services".

Harrogate hospital said it was currently treating 46 patients with the virus, up from 19 on 5 January.

A Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said halting some elective surgery would free up staff.

Urgent cases and cancer care would not be affected, the trust added.

The number of patients with Covid-19 in the hospital is higher than during the first wave in April 2020, according to government figures.

"This is placing a significant strain on services," the trust spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"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 rate of infection in the Harrogate area has risen sharply since Christmas to 487 per 100,000 people in the week ending 8 January from 299 per 100,000 people in the week ending the 1 January.

Dr Jacqueline Andrews, executive medical director at the trust, urged people to follow the coronavirus restrictions and stay at home, but said people should still seek medical help and attend appointments.

"Despite this significant increase in inpatients with Covid-19, the trust and the wider NHS remains open to all who need us," she said.

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