Visiting suspended but major incident not declared as Leeds hospitals battle rising Omicron Covid-19 cases

Visiting for all but end of life patients has been suspended across Leeds' hospitals as the city tackles rising Covid-19 cases.

By Alex Grant
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 4:45 pm

The decisions comes as the city's hospitals face staff shortages.

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Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, told Sky News that approximately half a dozen hospitals across the country have declared critical incidents in the last five days and while Leeds have not joined that list, the city's hospitals are still feeling the pressure.

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Hospital numbers have continued to rise over the Christmas period with the Omicron variant continuing to spread. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

In a statement provided to the YEP Mark Liddington, Medical Director for Planned Care at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, confirmed:

“Our staff have continued to work extremely hard over Christmas and New Year, caring for high numbers of patients and delivering hundreds of vaccines.

“With the Omicron variant circulating, we are responding to a significant increase in numbers of patients in our hospitals with Covid-19. Unfortunately, this means that visiting is temporarily suspended for adult in-patients unless the patient is at the end of their life, so that we can keep our patients and staff safe."

Hospital numbers have continued to rise over the Christmas period with the Omicron variant continuing to spread, leading to staff shortages as a result of isolations across UK hospitals.

“We have a large number of staff isolating with Covid-19 and we are grateful for the flexibility of our teams who are working hard to cover shifts and in some cases are working differently to minimise the impact on patients." Mr Liddington said "This increase in staff isolating with Covid-19 is being experienced across all NHS health and social care organisations which means all services are extremely busy."

Those feeling unwell and not requiring emergency care are being urged to contact NHS 111 online for advice or book an appointment with the appropriate service.

Mr Liddington further appealed for residents to continue coming forward to receive their vaccinations.

“We’d also encourage anyone who isn’t vaccinated to book in and get their Covid-19 vaccine." he said "Vaccination centres are open across the city and there are walk in appointments available, so please take the opportunity to protect yourself and your loved ones as we start the new year.”

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