Hospital moves to reassure public after spike in Covid-19 deaths

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust says it is working with Public Health England and other partners to fully understand the recent number of deaths at Tameside Hospital.

Concerns about the number of deaths from Covid-19 at the Ashton-based hospital has made a series of national headlines in recent days. 

In the seven days up to 10 September, 13 people died at Tameside Hospital from Covid-19 - more than anywhere else in the country in the same period. 

In response, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust has issued a statement to the Reporter and Chronicle.

A spokesperson for the Trust told us: "We are working with Public Health England and other partners to fully understand the recent number of deaths, but we know that our local population is older with many pre-existing health conditions and that Covid-19 prevalence is higher in our local area.

"We continue to prioritise infection prevention in our hospital and patients should continue to attend their appointments wearing a face covering, maintain social distancing and regularly wash their hands." 

It is known that those patients who have recently died of Covid-19 at the hospital all had serious and, in most cases, multiple underlying health conditions.

But the way hospitals are required to report Covid-19 deaths means that, even if a patient tested positive upon admission, but was asymptomatic of Covid-19 and died from a pre-existing condition, that their death would still have to be recorded as a Covid-19 death.

The Trust says it is currently reporting no excess deaths, in other words, there are no deaths above and beyond the expected number of deaths at the hospital.

All hospitals are required to follow national guidelines with regards to infection prevention and control (IPC) and the hospital says it has a robust IPC strategy in place, meaning patients who are Covid-19 positive are cared for separately and follow entirely different care pathways to non-Covid-19 patients.

As of the week ending 12 September, Tameside's infection rate is 107.7 per 100,000 people according to Public Health England data and remains under 'red alert'. 

Health bosses have previously said that a larger number of older people in their 50s and 60s are contracting the virus in the borough.

Keep up to date with all the latest local and national developments here: https://www.questmedianetwork.co.uk/news/daily-coronavirus-updates/

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