Hospital Covid-19 deaths pass 800 as highest weekly increase ever is announced

Almost 850 Covid-19 patients have died at Leicester’s hospitals since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest figures released today.

Some 56 new fatalities were added to University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust’s (UHL) toll this afternoon, bringing the number of people who have died at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester General Hospital or Glenfield Hospital since the start of the crisis to 849.

It is the highest increase announced since the trust moved to weekly reporting after the first peak.

Covid positive patient numbers have since risen above those seen back in April and deaths have followed suit.

The patients who died today were aged between their 40s and 90s.

A trust spokesperson said: “Sadly, we can confirm that 849 patients being cared for at our hospitals, and who had tested positive for Covid-19, have died.

“56 of those deaths have been announced since last Wednesday (6 January).

“Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the patients at this very difficult and distressing time.”

Acknowledging the increase and urging people to follow new national lockdown rules, the spokesperson added: “We all have a role to play in protecting people and their families from the effects of Covid-19.

“Anyone can catch it, and anyone can spread it so following the stay at home and ‘hands, face, space’ advice has never been more important – even if you or your loved one has been vaccinated.

“We have difficult days ahead but we are confident that we will get through it with the support of the public. Please use our services wisely and remember we are here if you need us.”

The plea comes days after frontline medics revealed what it’s like to work on Leicester’s intensive care wards at the moment.

Kirstie Hill, an intensive care nurse and Professor Sanjay Agrawal, a consultant in respiratory and ICU medicine, both warned that they expect things in the city’s hospitals to ‘get worse before they get better’.

Extra capacity has already been created to cope with an expected increase in patients needing the highest level of care in an attempt to fight the virus.

Sadly, deaths reported by the trust have been steadily increasing over the past few weeks. Last week some 45 deaths were announced by the trust.

While this week’s announcement covers the period from Wednesday, January 6, until today, reporting delays mean some of those deaths could have occurred before last Wednesday.

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust has also reported two deaths today – a man aged 68 and a woman aged 91.

They both had underlying health conditions and died while being cared for at the Evington Centre, based on the Leicester General Hospital campus.

Before last week, the trust, which runs community hospitals, had not recorded any Covid-related fatalities since June.

A spokesperson for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust said: “We have shared our deep condolences with their families and our thoughts remain with them at this distressing time.”

According to the latest Government stats there are currently 324 Covid patients being looked after by UHL, with 31 people on ventilators.

There are 26 Covid positive patients being cared for at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust sites.