Sheffield’s public health director warns ‘we cannot and must not do anything to increase pressure on the NHS’

Sheffield’s director of public health warned of the pressure facing the NHS as the country recorded its highest number of Covid-19 deaths in one day.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 4:45 pm

Greg Fell presented an update on the situation at a Sheffield Council cabinet meeting this week.

He said the impact of Christmas is beginning to wear off but pressure in hospitals was still too high.

He added: “Most of the growth, where there is growth is in the working age population, they are out and about more.

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Sheffield's director of public health, Greg Fell

“The rates aren’t growing really at all in school age kids and are coming down in the elderly which is quite reassuring.

“Hospitals remain busy. Our hospitals are in a period of really sustained pressure, in the order of somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of acute beds have a Covid patient in them and that is having a knock-on impact on the ability to provide other care.

“It’s fair to say the NHS is still open in both primary care and social care and their hospitals are open for business and are still providing great care but the whole of the health and social care system is in a period of very sustained pressure.

“Our rates, while they are coming down, are too high. That gives very, very, very little room for manoeuvre. We cannot and must not do anything that will increase the pressure on the NHS and social care system because that will come with some consequences.

“It is a virus that is very easy to spread and still kills people.

“This chart is one of the more important charts shows the deaths both hospital and community over the course of the pandemic.

“You can see there has been a significant rise in the number of deaths from October through to November, it came down but has gone up. There will be a long tail in deaths. There will be further deaths I’m sorry to have to say, of the people who are now very poorly in hospital sadly some will not survive.

“I expect to see death rates start to tail off as cases rates have tailed off which is welcome news but there will be a lag.”

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