NHS Forth Valley: Covid has not gone away warning from medics

Health chiefs admit that Covid-19 “hasn’t gone away” as a health and social care report shows it is still present in Falkirk district hospitals.
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Figures in the latest Healthcare Acquired Infection Performance Report – which covers July to September 2023 – show Covid-19 hospital case numbers fell to on average 20 inpatients per day for the quarter.

There were six COVID-19 related outbreaks reported for the three months being reviewed across NHS Forth Valley, including one outbreak in Ward 1, Bo’ness Community Hospital in September.

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Health officials said the numbers in the report were not up-to-date and in the last quarter the number of cases has been far lower.

Bo'ness Community Hospital. Picture: Google MapsBo'ness Community Hospital. Picture: Google Maps
Bo'ness Community Hospital. Picture: Google Maps

But they accepted that Covid has not ‘gone away’ and flagged a concerning increase in flu cases along with other winter viruses.

Jonathan Horwood, NHS Forth Valley’s infection control manager, said: “Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, and we are still seeing cases although the numbers of patients testing positive has stabilised in recent weeks.

“We have, however, seen a recent increase in cases of flu, RSV, Norovirus and other winter related illnesses over the last few weeks which has added to the existing winter pressures.

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“Advice on managing these illnesses, including how to reduce the risk of spreading them to others, is available on the NHS Inform website along with other useful healthcare information and advice.”

The report will be heard at a meeting of Falkirk’s Integration Joint Board – Clinical and Care Governance Committee, which meets this Friday, January 26), at 9.30 am in the Falkirk Stadium.