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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Hospitals at Huddersfield and Calderdale under pressure as flu admissions soar

The number of beds being taken up is several times higher than this time last year, both locally and nationally

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital are under pressure due to an influx of flu patients, as several times as many beds have been taken up in recent weeks compared to the same time last year.

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Image: LDRS

NHS data for last week has shown that the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) had at least three times as many beds occupied by flu patients compared to the same week in 2023. At times the numbers were almost five times as high with 44 beds being used on 11 February, compared to just nine last year.

This is not a situation unique to CHFT as the heightened numbers mirror the national picture. Data has shown that there were three times as many flu patients in hospital every day last week (2,390) than in the same week last year (737).

In addition, last week saw a national average of 565 patients with norovirus and 3,232 patients with Covid-19 in hospital each day.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust’s Medical Director, David Birkenhead, said: “Like other trusts regionally and nationally, we are caring for around three times more patients with the flu than this time last year.

“We would ask the public not to visit loved ones in our hospitals if they are unwell or have flu-like symptoms. Our priority is to protect our most vulnerable patients, so everything we can all do to keep them safe will help them recover more quickly.”

NHS national medical director, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, said: “It is clear that the significant pressure the NHS has been experiencing this winter is not letting up, with thousands more beds occupied and three times as many flu patients as last year, on top of continued high demand for ambulance services and NHS 111.

“The robust measures in our urgent and emergency care recovery plan and early winter planning have ensured we have more beds in place this year compared to last, and innovations like our virtual ward programme and same day emergency care units are helping. But there is no doubt staff are continuing to face one of their busiest winters ever.

“The public can play their part by continuing to only use 999 and A&E in an emergency and using 111 online or local pharmacies and GP services for other conditions.”

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