Leeds hospitals operating at over 98 per cent capacity as Covid Omicron impact continues

Leeds Hospitals are operating at over 98 per cent general bed capacity, according to the latest figures released by NHS England.

By Alex Grant
Friday, 4th February 2022, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 4th February 2022, 2:25 pm

In the last week of January, Leeds Teaching Hospitals were operating at 98.6 per cent capacity on general and acute bed occupancy.

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This was a 2.3 per cent increase from the previous week with stats indicating the hospital did indeed hit full capacity during that time.

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1,484 Leeds Teaching Hospitals staff were off sick last week. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The impact was felt throughout NHS England with NHS National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis stating:

“We still had around 70,000 NHS staff off sick each day last week, as the number of ambulances taking patients to A&E was up again on the previous seven days, making it the busiest week since the start of December.

“Despite this, hardworking staff are doing everything possible to get people home to their loved ones and out of hospital safely, as hundreds more beds were freed up each day compared to the week before – all while delivering as many routine checks and procedures as possible, including vital diagnostic checks, as staff continue to make inroads delivering treatments disrupted by Covid."

Central to the pressures being felt across the sector are staff absences with 1,484 Leeds Teaching Hospitals staff off sick that week alone.

Of these absences 625 were missing through enforced Covid-19 isolation.

This, however represented a decrease on the previous week with 98 fewer staff absences recorded than the week January 17-23.

Hospital staff absences across Leeds have been trending down since a peak of 2,106 absences, recorded during the first week of January.

Shortages saw 54 patients forced to wait for between 30 minutes to an hour for treatment following arrival via ambulance.

Professor Powis has urged those unwell to only call 999 if it is a potentially life threatening situation.

“It remains as important as ever for people to get their lifesaving Covid vaccines if they haven’t done so already – and the NHS is here for you if have a health problem, so please go to 111 online and call 999 when it is a life threatening condition.” he said.

Phil Wood, Chief Medical Officer & Deputy Chief Executive at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“Our hospitals in Leeds remain extremely busy and our hardworking staff are doing everything possible to care for patients and to get people out of hospital and home safely."

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