Caroline is joining Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Witty, in urging constituents to remain COVID-19 compliant and stay home as cases continue to rise.
Professor Witty made a statement this morning and went on various news channels to warn that “we have faced several grave moments during our battle against coronavirus. But right now, the country is perhaps facing the most serious yet.”
His statement follows the announcement last night that a further 54,940 cases have been confirmed with around 1 in 50 people in England estimated to have the virus. In Gosport Borough, the rate of positive cases is 472.7 per 100,000 residents and in Fareham 558.4.
He went on to say that the new, more transmissible variant of COVID-19 means that “the situation has deteriorated further” and that:
“If the virus continues on its current trajectory many hospitals will be in real difficulties, and very soon. This means that the time people wait for care will continue to increase to potentially unsafe levels, hospitals won’t have room to take redirected emergency cases in regional networks, staff to patient ratios which are already stretched will become unacceptable even in places likes intensive care. There will be avoidable deaths. NHS staff are doing their absolute best, and working remarkably; we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude, but even they have limits.”
“While there is light at the end of the tunnel with the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS, we are at a critical point.
“As we see cases rise in our local area and across the country, I urge constituents to remain safe, stay home wherever possible and help protect our local healthcare services and vulnerable residents.
“QA Hospital and local healthcare workers have been clear about the immense pressure that they are facing, and the impact this has on the care they are able to provide.
“I would like to thank all of our amazing critical workers who are supporting residents during this difficult time.”
Last week Chief Executive of Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, Mark Cubbon, took to Twitter to dispute false social media claims made on Facebook - with pictures of empty Queen Alexandra Hospital corridors – that the hospital was not busy.
“Saddened to see messages on social media suggesting our wards are empty and pressures we say we’re facing are fictional.
“We’re treating (increasing numbers of patients) with Covid-19.
“Our staff are doing an incredible job under a great deal of pressure. Please don’t disrespect them.”
While the social media comment is being investigated by Hampshire police, QA Hospital is currently treating 457 COVID-19 patients, more than it had during the first wave, with a 50.4% increase in admissions in the last 7 days. This equates to almost half of the hospital’s total capacity.