By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter
Seventy-four per cent of patients in critical care at Nottingham’s two main hospitals are completely unvaccinated, according to the NHS.
And all of Nottinghamshire’s hospitals – including the Queen’s Medical Centre and the Nottingham City Hospital – are not under ‘high alert’ but are operating under “increasing pressure.”
Amanda Sullivan, from NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, described the situation in a Covid briefing on Friday, January 7.
She said: “The NHS is operating under increasing pressure and this is caused by the rise in coronavirus admissions we are seeing, work force absence due to Omicron and other causes and other winter pressures and illnesses.”
On January 4, Nottinghamshire hospitals had 443 people with coronavirus, a higher figure than in the April or November peaks in 2020.
In the week up to January 2, there were 362 admissions compared to 213 admissions the week before, showing “a significant rise week-on-week,” she added. There were also 25 deaths.
“The numbers are continuing to rise, and we do anticipate they will continue to rise in view of the very high community transmission rates. Omicron is as serious as Delta if you are unvaccinated.
“On the intensive care unit at the City Hospital and Queen’s Medical Centre, 74 per cent of the people who are needing the critical care – the most seriously ill – are completely unvaccinated.
“We do sometimes see people who are partially vaccinated and have underlying health conditions – they may also become seriously ill as well and need that intensive care.
“We don’t have the Nottinghamshire figures for unvaccinated people and deaths, but the evidence is clear now across the whole country that vaccines do have a protective effect against death.
“If you are boosted that reduces your chances of hospitalisation by 83 per cent. It has even a further effect of people dying.”
She said more people are “changing their minds” and coming forward to get their first and second jabs, which is “thousands each week.”
Lucy Hubber, Public Health Director for Nottingham, said: “The situation in Nottingham is we are seeing very high case rates of 1,600 per 100,000 people – that’s a rapid increase on where we were a month ago.
“We are also seeing a positivity rate – number of people testing positive at PCR – at 40 per cent – and that is really high. There is a lot of Covid circulating in our community.
“That figure will continue to increase. We hear in the media that Omicron is a mild disease – I am not sure I would agree with that.
“What I would say is what we are seeing is Omicron is not as severe for people who are vaccinated but it is not fair to say Covid is a mild disease.”
Louise Lester, from Public Health Nottinghamshire, added: “In the most recent seven days our rate was at 1,865 per 100,000. This is currently above the England average.
“That is 15,000 people across Nottinghamshire who have tested positive in the last seven days.
“They are high across all our districts and boroughs at the moment – highest in Gedling and Ashfield and lowest in Rushcliffe.
“All very high and driven by the working age population – 18 to 59-year-olds have got the highest rates and we do not know what this New Year will bring.”