'Please, please get jabbed' - Hospital director's plea amid rising infections

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has seen a rise in abuse of BAME staff

A young woman died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn after a crash in West Winch. - Credit: QEH

Covid infections are likely to continue to rising for another fortnight, a senior hospital doctor said as she urged people to get vaccinated.

Dr Frankie Swords, medical director at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, said teams at the hospital have been planning around predictions that infections are set to continue rising for another two weeks.

Vaccinations are available seven days a week at the hospital and people can walk in to get a jab without needing to book an appointment.

So far, some 65pc of people in west Norfolk have two injections and a booster, 2,308 people have tested positive in the last seven days, an increase of 697 (43pc) on the previous week. Two have died.

"Please, please get your vaccine," said Dr Swords. "Unfortunately, locally and nationally, you're more likely to get seriously ill if you haven't been vaccinated."

The hospital is currently treating around 30 patients with Covid, none of whom are in need of intensive care.

"We're getting about 25 to 30 patents coming to our emergency department every day with suspected Covid," said Dr Swords.

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"But as more and more people are vaccinated, fewer and fewer of those people need to be admitted to hospital."

Dr Swords said between five and seven people were currently being admitted to the QEH each day, while around the same number were being discharged.

Dr Frankie Swords, medical director at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Pic: Queen Eliza

Dr Frankie Swords, medical director at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. - Credit: QEH

Dr Swords said around 7pc of the hospital's 4,000 staff were currently off work after testing positive or because they needed to self-isolate.

Nationally, some 39,142 NHS staff at hospital trusts in England were absent for Covid-related reasons on January 2, up 59pc on the previous week and more than three times the number at the start of December, according to new figures from NHS England.

Dr Swords said staff absence was "a huge, huge worry" for the hospital, adding: "It's not as bad as other areas because we've had such a good uptake of the vaccine." 

While some staff have been redeployed to other areas and some elective procedures have been postponed, emergency or clinically-urgent surgery such as cancer operations are continuing at the QEH.


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