Health director’s message over high Covid-19 numbers in Nuneaton and Bedworth

The director of public health for Warwickshire has taken to YouTube to reassure Nuneaton and Bedworth residents over Covid-19 numbers.

George Eliot Hospital bosses revealed this week an investigation was taking place into ‘significant and consistent’ numbers of patients being treated for the virus at the hospital.

Numbers of those presenting with the illness have been falling in other parts of the region and country.

In a nearly three minute video, Shade Agboola, director of public health for Warwickshire sought to offer reassurance and give residents ‘the facts’ over the current situation.

Her message came as the managing director of the trust insisted services remained open for patients.

Addressing the news of the investigation, Ms Agboola said: “I know these are worrying times for everyone. The news about a small increase in coronavirus cases this week in Nuneaton and Bedworth will have caused some people particular anxiety so I thought I would take this opportunity to share the facts with you and tell you what we are doing.

“First of all let me make the point community transmission of the virus is at the moment ongoing, so while the national alert level has reduced to three, we are still in the pandemic.

“This is precisely why we have set up the test and trace programme to help contain the spread of the virus when incidents occur. These small incidences are to be expected. It is the phase of the pandemic we are in.

“Numbers in Nuneaton and Bedworth, especially in the last week, are now levelling off. We are working closely with our partners in health to identify any potential issues and put in place appropriate plans to manage them. This includes supporting George Eliot Hospital in investigating the facts in the significant number of Covid positive patients in their care.

“At the hospital, precautionary measures are being taken to maintain the safety of staff and patients. This includes the temporary closure and deep cleaning of 25 beds, maintaining strict separation of Covid and non-Covid services and continuing to screen all patients attending our emergency department, testing all patients regularly regardless of symptoms, adhering to the strictest possible national guidelines on infection and prevention control.”

Ms Agboola went on to say even though numbers were levelling off, it was vital the public continue to play their part in controlling the disease by washing hands and adhering to social distancing rules.

She added anyone developing Covid-19 symptom – a cough, temperature or loss of taste and smell – should isolate at home and get tested.   

Investigation

The George Eliot told CoventryLive earlier this week that Public Health England and NHS England/Improvement IS investigating a number of reasons why there has been a rise in positive cases.

A spokesman for the Eliot said they are trying to get to the root cause of the “significant and consistent” rise, which DaljitAthewal, director of nursing, said was a concern.

It is looking into whether people had come into the hospital with the virus or whether they caught it while being treated at the hospital.

They are also exploring the huge area that the hospital serves to see if this is a factor.

While based in Nuneaton, the hospital serves patients from Nuneaton, Bedworth and North Warwickshire as well as South West Leicestershire.

It also cares for patients from some areas of North Coventry.

“We are looking at a range of patient data to establish the factors behind the Covid -19 figures,” the spokesperson said.



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