Health chiefs are trying to resume a normal service for thousands of patients across Brighton and Hove as the number of covid-19 coronavirus cases falls – figures below.
They are aiming for a phased return to routine work while remaining ready in case of a second wave of coronavirus cases.
Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said that the focus on the coronavirus pandemic had resulted in a big drop in other urgent treatment and routine work.
But increasingly patients would be seen and receive regular treatment for cancer, heart problems and other conditions.
The CCG’s executive director of corporate governance, Terry Willows, told the governing body: “There is a lot of work ongoing at the moment to be clear about where we are in terms of what the issues are and what demand and capacity looks like over the next month or two.
“We need to make sure we have a phased return of these services and be able to manage an ongoing pandemic situation and having enough contingency and capacity to respond to a second wave should it arrive.”
The CCG’s clinical chair Andrew Hodson said that there was now an opportunity to reduce treatment waiting times and bring down waiting lists.
A letter from NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens and chief operating officer Amanda Pritchard to all CCGs was shared with the governing body.
The letter – sent at the end of April – said: “Sadly coronavirus looks set to be with us for some time to come so we will need continuing vigilance.
“We are, however, now coming through this peak of hospitalisations, as seen by the drop of nearly 5,000 in the daily number of confirmed covid-19 positive patients in hospitals across England over the past fortnight.”
The letter also said: “Over the next six weeks and beyond we have the opportunity to begin to release and redeploy some of the treatment capacity that could have been needed while the number of covid-19 patients was rising so sharply.
“This means we are now asking all NHS local systems and organisations working with regional colleagues fully to step up non-covid-19 urgent services as soon as possible over the next six weeks.
“This needs to be a safe restart with full attention to infection prevention and control as the guiding principle.
“In addition, you should now work across local systems and with your regional teams over the next 10 days to make judgments on whether you have further capacity for at least some routine non-urgent elective care.
“Provisional plans will need to factor in the availability of associated medicines, PPE (personal protective equipment), blood, consumables, equipment and other needed supplies.
“We will continue to provide new ventilators to trusts over the coming weeks so as to sustain critical care ‘surge’ capacity should it again be needed in future while progressively returning operating theatres and recovery suites to their normal use.”
Lab-confirmed covid-19 cases in Brighton and Hove
Week ending – Number of cases
- Sunday 9 February – 5
- Sunday 16 February – 0
- Sunday 23 February – 0
- Sunday 1 March – 0
- Sunday 8 March – 2
- Sunday 15 March – 6
- Sunday 22 March – 17
- Sunday 29 March – 55
- Sunday 5 April – 78
- Sunday 12 April – 81
- Sunday 19 April – 83
- Sunday 26 April – 31
- Sunday 3 May – 30
- Sunday 10 May – 12
Office for National Statistics – deaths registered in Brighton and Hove
Week ending – Number of deaths by location
- Friday 20 March – 1 in hospital
- Friday 27 March – 5 in hospital and 1 in a care home
- Friday 3 April – 12 in hospital, 3 in care homes and 1 elsewhere
- Friday 10 April – 15 in hospital, 5 in care homes and 1 elsewhere
- Friday 17 April – 15 in hospital and 10 in care homes
- Friday 24 April – 7 in hospital, 7 in care homes and 5 elsewhere
- Friday 1 May – 4 in hospital, 8 in care homes and 2 elsewhere
Total 102 (59 in hospital, 34 in care homes and 9 elsewhere)
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