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Hospital reduces coronavirus wards as patient numbers fall

PUBLISHED: 06:15 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:06 03 June 2020

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has reduced the number of

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has reduced the number of "yellow zones" for coronavirus patients. Picture: Mike Page

Mike Page

Hospital bosses have cut the number of coronavirus wards to two after Covid-19 patient numbers fell to 24.

The Arthur South Unit was used as a temporary emergency department but has now reopened. Picture: NNUHThe Arthur South Unit was used as a temporary emergency department but has now reopened. Picture: NNUH

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital (NNUH) was split into yellow and green zones with yellow wards for confirmed or suspected coronavirus patients.

But it said that because of a large reduction in Covid-19 cases to 24 it was now returning to more normal plans. At the peak of the pandemic around 100 coronavirus patients needed treatment.

A message to staff last week said the number of patients testing positive for coronavirus on admission was down to less than 1pc, meaning only Brundall and Cringleford wards needed to be in the yellow zone.

MORE: Hospitals record no new deaths for second day

The hospital also has an “isolation suite” for cases.

Hospital chiefs said they would address concerns from staff this week about the changes.

Last week the hospital also reopened the Arthur South Day Procedure Unit which was being used as an emergency department. It will mean that surgery can restart on the unit.

Thousands of non-emergency procedures were delayed when coronavirus hit. There were just under 75,000 patients waiting to start treatment at Norfolk’s three hospitals in March.

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Before coronavirus struck, some patients had already been waiting a year for operations and the NNUH warned in November that long waits were pushing its services to “unrecoverable” positions.

On May 21, the hospitals said that patients were likely to have to wait longer than usual, and carrying out treatments would depend on any future coronavirus outbreaks.

But patients at the top of some waiting lists were being contacted.

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