Revealed - the hospital data which convinced Norfolk MPs to back lockdown
- Credit: Brittany Woodman/Sonya Duncan
The graphs which convinced Norfolk MPs of the potential pressure the region’s hospitals were facing in the months ahead as coronavirus cases increased have been revealed.
MPs were briefed by Norfolk’s NHS chiefs on Monday ahead of the vote for the four-week lockdown which started on Thursday - by spelling out how local hospitals could be “overwhelmed”.
The Commons voted by 516 to 38 to approve the second nationwide lockdown, with every Norfolk MP backing the government.
Now, the presentation which was given to them by NHS bosses has been released. It includes graphs which show projections for the potential trajectory of hospital admissions over the next six weeks.
The data drew on multiple academic models and the data from the region’s hospitals in the weeks up to October 26.
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The modelling suggested there could be what NHS bosses described as a “significant increase” in admissions and people in hospital beds to the end of the year.
As Dr Louise Smith, public health director for Norfolk, said at a press conference on Thursday, the modelling projected that, without the lockdown, the number of people admitted to the region’s hospitals in the second wave of Covid-19 could have been higher than the first wave’s peak.
The MPs were told that there had been 6,385 coronavirus cases in the East of England in the seven days up to Monday, November 2, with the region’s Covid-19 rate at 102.4 per 100,000 of the population. As of Thursday, Norfolk’s rate was 92.2 per 100,000.
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Across the Eastern region, including Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, there were, as of Monday, 454 beds occupied by patients with Covid-19, with 41 in ventilation beds.
There had been 427 admissions of patients with coronavirus from October 25 to October 31, the data showed, up on 337 during the previous week.
Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman voted for the lockdown having previously said he wanted to be convinced by data about the potential impact on hospitals.
Having seen the data, he had said: “It’s very clear, looking at the detailed data and evidence, that, if we don’t do anything, our hospitals here in Norfolk will be overwhelmed.”