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Health bosses planning to reduce number of critical care beds in Western Trust by end of week

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Number of patients needing critical care beds in Western Trust declines. Stock image

Number of patients needing critical care beds in Western Trust declines. Stock image

Health Secretary Sajid Javid. Credit: Toby Melville

Health Secretary Sajid Javid. Credit: Toby Melville

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Number of patients needing critical care beds in Western Trust declines. Stock image

Health bosses are planning to reduce the number of critical care beds available in the Western Trust by the end of this week.

While trust chief executive Neil Guckian said the health service is “entering into a very difficult period”, it has emerged officials are optimistic they can reduce the number of intensive care beds they require.

A total of 29 inpatients in the Western Trust had Covid-19 yesterday, with six of the 13 critical care patients across Altnagelvin and the South West Acute Hospitals infected with the virus.

Speaking yesterday afternoon, assistant director of acute services Mark Gillespie said: “Over recent days, critical care has de-escalated across the region, and indeed in both our hospitals.

“South West Acute Hospital are back to their baseline and Altnagelvin has decreased from 13 beds… to 11 beds which is surge level one, with a plan to reduce further by the end of this week.”

Hospitals are under huge pressure as a result of the Covid crisis. 

Yesterday health officials said that one further patient who had previously tested positive for the virus has died.

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A further 1,635 positive cases were also reported.

It brings the total number of cases recorded in the past seven days to 12,876. 

That is up from 11,429 the previous week.

Meanwhile, there is now community transmission across multiple regions of England of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, Sajid Javid has told MPs.

The Health Secretary told the Commons: "The Omicron variant is continuing to spread here and around the world.

"According to the latest data, there are now 261 confirmed cases in England, 71 in Scotland and four in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases across the UK to 336.”

No cases have been detected in Northern Ireland as yet.

The Government cannot "say for certain" whether Omicron will escape Covid vaccines, or how severe a disease it will cause.

Mr Javid added: "We are learning more about this new variant all the time. Recent analysis from the UK Health Security Agency suggests that the window between infection and infectiousness may be shorter for the Omicron variant than for the Delta variant, but we don't yet have a complete picture of whether Omicron causes more severe disease, or indeed how it interacts with the vaccines. We can't say for certain whether Omicron has the potential to knock us off our road to recovery.


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