Blackpool Victoria Hospital announces 23 more Covid deaths in past week as top doctor tells of pressure on A&E - with 13 ambulances left queuing outside

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Twenty three people have died with Covid in the past week at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, taking the death toll there to 862, deputy medical director Dr Grahame Goode said.

Speaking during the Whinney Hey Road hospital’s weekly coronavirus briefing, Dr Goode said six people remained in critical care with the disease and were fighting for their lives yesterday.

He said: “I send my condolences to the families of patients we have lost.

“This just illustrates how serious Covid still is.

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Patients handed ear plugs due to noisy building works at Blackpool Victoria Hosp...

"Although I think a number of people out in the community feel the Covid pandemic is over, it certainly isn’t, as reflected in the number of patients in hospital and the number of deaths we’ve had.”

Some 43 people considered Covid-positive – ie they’re within 14 days of their first diagnosis – remain in hospitals on the Fylde coast for treatment, Dr Goode said, while he added: “In terms of the general picture, our emergency department is exceptionally busy.

"We declared a major internal incident last week due to the pressure in the hospital in terms of lack of beds and the pressure on the emergency department.

“We had 140 patients in our emergency department, which is a huge number for us, and we had as many as 13 ambulances waiting outside to deliver patients into the emergency departments.”

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A&E attendances in England last month were 36 per cent higher than a year ago, NHS England said – although again this is a reflection of lower-than-usual numbers for October 2020, which were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 2.2 million attendances were recorded in October 2021, up from 1.6 million in October 2020.

The equivalent figure for October 2019, a non-pandemic year, was 2.2 million.

But the number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to a new record high.

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A total of 5.8 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of September 2021, according to figures from NHS England.

This is the highest number since records began in August 2007.

And a record 7,059 had to wait more than 12 hours at A&Es in England last month from a decision to admit to actually being admitted.

The figure is up from 5,025 in September and is the highest since records began in August 2010.

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