Barts Health defers some routine procedures as Covid cases rise

Newham University Hospital

Some procedures are being deferred at Barts Health NHS Trust's hospitals, including Newham - Credit: David Mirzoeff

Barts Health NHS Trust has said it is deferring some routine procedures
due to the number of Covid-19 patients it is treating.

The trust, which serves around 2.5 million people, said it has moved to the "high pressure" phase of its winter escalation plan.

A Barts Health spokesman said: "We are treating high numbers of patients with Covid-19, and in line with our winter escalation plan we have moved into a 'high pressure' phase and are taking steps to keep our patients safe.

"These include deferring some routine procedures over the coming days so we can redeploy staff and increase the number of critical care and general beds available."

The trust, which operates The Royal London, St Bartholomew's, Whipps Cross, Mile End and Newham hospitals, said the plan will not affect cancer patients and that people will be contacted directly if their elective procedures need to be postponed.

As of 8am this morning (Thursday, December 17), the trust said that it was caring for 366 in-patients confirmed through laboratory testing to have Covid-19.

Of those, 28 were newly diagnosed in the previous 24 hours, and 57 patients with confirmed Covid-19 are being treated in intensive care. 

The trust also confirmed that as of 5pm yesterday (Wednesday, December 16), 865 patients hospitalised with confirmed Covid-19 across the trust's hospitals have died since the start of the pandemic.

In that same period, 5,173 people hospitalised with confirmed Covid-19 have recovered and have been discharged.