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Warning against complacency as deaths related to virus continue to fall in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 07:55 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:16 17 June 2020

Erika Denton, Medical Director at NNUH. Photo: NNUH

Erika Denton, Medical Director at NNUH. Photo: NNUH

NNUH

Hospital bosses have warned against complacency after figures showed a large fall in the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Norfolk.

Anna Hills, chief executive of the James Paget, and Erika Denton, medical director of the Norfolk and Norwich. Picture: Archant/JPUH/N&NAnna Hills, chief executive of the James Paget, and Erika Denton, medical director of the Norfolk and Norwich. Picture: Archant/JPUH/N&N

It comes three months to the day since the first confirmed fatality on March 17, which was reported at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.

The first deaths were reported on March 20 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and March 28 at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.

Norfolk experienced its peak in April, with 126 deaths reported in the first 15 days of the month and 256 in total – with the first reported deaths at the Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust and Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust.

The figures continued to show a fall in coronavirus deaths with the numbers reporting halving in May, with 79 deaths up until 
May 15 and 114 overall for the whole month.

Anna Hills, chief executive of James Paget University Hospital. Picture: James Paget University Hospital.Anna Hills, chief executive of James Paget University Hospital. Picture: James Paget University Hospital.

Now in June, in the first half of the month there have been eight reported deaths in the county.

Erika Denton, NNUH medical director, said: “Whilst this is very welcome news, we are not complacent whilst the virus is still circulating in the community. It is essential that people continue to follow social distancing guidance and maintain strict hand hygiene practices to help limit the spread of Covid-19. It is also essential that people self-isolate if they have symptoms and to get a test.”

The hospital has reported one new death this month and currently has three patients who are Covid-19 positive. Another 16 patients have had the virus and are recovering in hospital and 288 people have been discharged following treatment.

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In total, 414 people have died in Norfolk due to coronavirus, 385 of which have occurred in the county’s three hospitals; 27 deaths have been reported at the Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust between April and June and two deaths at the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust.

The figures also showed May 19 was the first day during the pandemic where any of the 
five Norfolk trusts reported no new deaths.

On Tuesday, the QEH reported its first deaths in 16 days after two coronavirus-related deaths on June 6 and June 9.

The hospital, which has reported the largest number of deaths in total with 147, experienced 18 consecutive days of reporting fatalities between March 26 and April 13.

At the James Paget University Hospital, the death of a man in his 70s on Tuesday was the first coronavirus death at the hospital for 13 days.

Currently, the hospital has four patients with Covid-19 receiving treatment in the hospital and have discharged 230 patients.

Chief executive Anna Hills said: “The pandemic has seen tremendous change at pace within our hospital, from creating separate zones to keep patients safe to introducing new working practices such as video consultations.

“Throughout all of this, our staff have gone above and beyond to ensure that we continued to provide safe care for our 
patients – while taking care of each other.

“Now, as part of the Norfolk and Waveney health and care partnership, we are working to restore as much planned and urgent hospital treatment as possible while ensuring we are ready for any increase in COVID-19 cases in the weeks and months ahead.”


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