Covid in Portsmouth: QA Hospital asks public to only use Emergency Department for life-threatening conditions as coronavirus-related hospital admissions leap more than 50 per cent

HOSPITAL admissions for Covid have rocketed by 52 per cent in the city - while infections in the area have risen by a fifth.

QA Hospital has reported an increase in patients with Covid, and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust is asking members of the public to only use QA’s Emergency Department for life-threatening conditions.

New research has also shown that reported positive tests in the wider Portsmouth area, including Fareham, Gosport, and Havant, have gone up by 40 per cent.

This means that the modelled ratio of people testing positive in this area has leapt from one to 40 people to one in 30.

Covid. Picture: Shannon Silver

Meanwhile, data is also suggesting that Covid admissions at the trust have jumped from 83 to 126 in the space of a week - an increase of 43 admissions.

John Knighton, medical director at the trust, said: ‘We are seeing an increase in patients with Covid at Queen Alexandra Hospital and also staff sickness.

‘Our priority is to provide the safest care possible, and we can only do this by ensuring only the sickest and most urgent cases come to our ED.

‘We are asking our community to only come to hospital if it is an emergency such as serious blood loss, suspected stroke or heart attack, or loss of consciousness.

Patients who do not need to be seen in ED should go to their local Urgent Treatment Centres or call 111 for advice.’

Local centres include St Mary’s Urgent Treatment Centre, Gosport Urgent Treatment Centre, and Petersfield Urgent Treatment Centre.

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The city of Portsmouth has also seen a rise in infections: while one in 35 people in the area tested positive for Covid in the week ending June 18, by the following Monday, that ratio had risen to one in 30.

This rate is about average for the south east.

Data suggests the south east is seeing an infection rate of one in every 30 people of a population of 8,855,708.

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust asks that people choose which service might be best if they are unwell – consider a pharmacy, a GP, or visiting the urgent treatment centre unless it is urgent – and to stay away from hospitals if they have symptoms, or are a contact of someone who has tested positive.