Coronavirus: Fall in critically ill patients in Wales

Published
Related Topics
image source, Dr Nick Mason
image captionAneurin Bevan's critical care units at their peak had 48 patients but now have six

The number of critically ill patients with coronavirus in Wales has fallen to its lowest number since 25 March.

There are currently 32 patients in critical care or on ventilators in hospitals, according to latest NHS Wales figures.

In Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board area, two months ago there were 29 Covid-19 patients in critical care at the pandemic's peak.

Along with Hywel Dda health board, both currently have three patients.

"It's a good sign at this stage that we've seen critical care pressures reduced by probably about 80% from the peak," said NHS Wales chief executive Dr Andrew Goodall.

"The majority of people being treated in critical care now do not have coronavirus, which importantly shows more NHS work is taking place."

Patients in critical care beds in Wales. Numbers in invasive ventilated and critical care beds.  Normal critical care bed capacity is 153 beds.

He said it was one of the factors he was keeping an eye on, but he said it was also "striking" that the number of patients still in hospital being treated with Covid-19 - 885 - was the equivalent of filling three large hospitals.

The seven-day average in total daily admissions to hospitals of confirmed and suspected Covid-19 cases is currently 90 - 17 lower than last week.

Critical care patients with coronavirus. Numbers per day by health board.  .

What is happening in different parts of Wales?

The latest figures show how the virus is continuing to decline.

Aneurin Bevan around Newport and the old Gwent valleys was an early hot-spot for coronavirus.

Now there are twice as many patients in its critical care units with other medical issues rather than being treated for the virus.

At the peak, the health board had 48 critically ill patients at any one time with Covid-19 but currently has six.

But Dr Goodall told a media briefing he was still concerned about the possibility of a second peak of the coronavirus outbreak emerging.

"Is it through the summer, linked to lock down restrictions? Is it ahead of the winter, when actually the virus may be more susceptible to transmission at that time?" he said.

He added: "We're prepared because we've retained contingency arrangements that we put in place but also because we've learned a lot more about the virus."

Dr Goodall said the 19 field hospitals that had been established in Wales remain "a contingency" but discussions were being held with health boards about whether there is "some other supportive role that could be played by those field hospitals as well".

More on this story