Somerset hospitals at 45% occupancy

This morning we reported on the situation in Somerset care homes. The Somerset County Council briefing also took a long look at the reports of COVID 19 patients in county hospitals.

To date there have been a total of 3,500 reported cases in the South West of which 187 were in Somerset. As you can read in the April Leveller, this is significantly below the average in the UK and even within the South West. The county council area of Somerset is almost exactly 10% of the population of the South West (5.6million people) so as you can see infection rates are running at half the regional average.

Of those infected with the virus, 46 have been hospitalised but only 7 at the moment need ventilation. Sadly though, we have to report that to date have been 35 deaths from the virus in the area.

Total Somerset hospital bed occupancy is at 45% at present and you may recall that earlier this month 2 former care homes in Wellington and Yeovil were reopened to take patients from Taunton and Yeovil hospitals. The idea was to move patients who were close enough to discharge to be taken out of hospital. This has two benefits, it reduces their risk of exposure to a virus that could set them back in their recovery. But equally it frees up beds in the two main hospitals of our county to deal with new COVID 19 cases. Despite stories circulating that opening the two units was postponed because of a lack of PPE, Somerset County Council tell us this was not the case. The delays were caused by issues around getting insurance in place for the new units.

They are ready to be become operational, with 40 staff having offered to be re-deployed to staff the Yeovil centre.

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