Doctor Jim Gardner has told the Blackpool Gazette that some patients in the Victoria Hospital with Covid-19 are being transferred to the Clifton Hospital in St. Anne’s for rehabilitation. Doctor Gardner who is the medical director at the NHS trust which runs both Blackpool’s Victoria and the Clifton explained, ‘We’ve got a large group of elderly patients who are Covid-positive who need to stay with us probably for a bit longer than we’d really like because care homes, residential homes, and maybe even their own homes are frightened about having these people back because of the risk of spread. Under other circumstances we would be able to discharge them sooner.’
Around a quarter of the Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s approximate eight hundred beds are currently taken by patients fighting Coronavirus. Eighteen patients are in the intensive care unit, which usually has sixteen beds but now has the increased capacity for thirty two.
The number of Covid-positive patients has doubled every week for the past five weeks, leading to concerns that staff could soon be overwhelmed. Dr Gardner told the Blackpool Gazette, ‘If the numbers keep rising at this rate, we would have to start to step down other elective activity, including orthopaedic, neurological, and general surgery work. The very last people we would want to step down are the people who we think are at most risk, so they would be the high risk cancer patients and high risk cardiac patients. We would step down surgery for people we think are at the lowest risk first.’
Blackpool Victoria Hospital currently has a higher percentage of its beds taken up by patients with Covid-19 than any other hospital in England.