Stirling Observer

Covid continues to put strain on our hospitals

- STUART MCFARLANE

The region’s hospitals are keeping their heads above water despite a national surge in Covid cases putting A&E services under strain.

The rise in Covid cases seen across Scotland in recent weeks has increased the pressure in hospitals across the country.

One of the affected areas was in Glasgow - where patients were told not to attend A&E there last week unless their condition was “lifethreat­ening” after being inundated with both Covid and non-Covid patients.

The latest figures released on Covid have revealed a total of 26 patients are currently in hospital in Forth Valley with recently confirmed Covid-19, with 360 new cases reported across the region at the latest update on Tuesday.

It has prompted NHS Forth Valley to state that local services are “very busy”, with a rise in nonCovid related conditions being blamed for the recent rise in pressure.

A spokespers­on for NHS Forth Valley told the Observer: “Our hospitals continue to be very busy and, like many other areas of Scotland, we are experienci­ng a significan­t increase in non-Covid related illnesses.

“So far, we have managed to maintain the delivery of a wide range of outpatient clinics, diagnostic scans and planned operations however this is being kept under regular review in line with available capacity.”

Stirling racked up another 98 positive Covid cases at the latest update on Tuesday, with the latest seven-day rate per 100,000 of population for the city sitting at 605.9.

In a briefing to the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there was an “inescapabl­e” need for the country to “turn the corner” and see the recent rise in cases level off and come down over the coming weeks.

Ms Sturgeon said: “It absolutely remains the case that vaccinatio­n has significan­tly reduced the link between cases of Covid and serious health harm from Covid.

“The proportion of people with the virus who end up in hospital is much lower now than it was prevaccine.

“Indeed that is why the record number of new cases reported in recent days has not caused a record number of hospital admissions. That is positive - but it must not make us complacent.

“Although the link between new cases and serious health harm is now much weaker, it has not been completely broken - here or anywhere in the world.

“We can see that very clearly in the recent data. On Friday August 20, there were 312 people in hospital with Covid. Today, there are 629.

“The number of people in intensive care has risen more slowly - but it has risen. On August 20 it was 34 and today it is 59.

“If the recent surge in cases was to continue – if, for instance, we were to see cases continuing to rise to 10,000 or more a day, something I hope won’t happen, but is by no means impossible – that will have serious consequenc­es.

“A lot of people would fall seriously ill.

“This pressure is building at a time when many staff have been flat out for more than 18 months, and when the NHS is working to deal with the backlog of other cases which has been caused by the earlier waves of the pandemic.

“So the situation we face just now is serious.”

 ??  ?? Busy Forth Valley Royal Hospital
Virus Covid ward at Forth Valley Royal Hospital back in February this year
Busy Forth Valley Royal Hospital Virus Covid ward at Forth Valley Royal Hospital back in February this year
 ??  ?? Update Sturgeon briefing the Scottish Parliament
Update Sturgeon briefing the Scottish Parliament

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