CRITICALLY ill children will be moved from wards in Leicester to Birmingham so hospital beds can be used for Covid patients.
The children’s intensive care unit at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester will now be taken over to treat seriously ill adults suffering with coronavirus.
Glenfield Hospital in Leicester has suspended its children’s intensive care unit to free up beds for critically ill adults with Covid Credit: Getty Images – Getty
This means that the hospital’s paediatric ICU activity will now move around 40 miles away to Birmingham so that beds are free for Covid patients.
There are currently over 350 patients being treated for coronavirus in Leicester’s hospitals, with 34 on mechanical ventilation.
Health bosses today made the “difficult decision” to temporarily take over the ICU with adult patients.
Medical director at Leicester’s Hospitals Andrew Furlong said: “Unfortunately, we are having to make the difficult decision to temporarily move our paediatric intensive care activity to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
“The move will help us to create the additional adult intensive care capacity that will be needed in the coming weeks.
“Whilst this is not an easy decision to make, we believe it to be the safest way to care for our paediatric patients given the emerging coronavirus situation.”
The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust had to make a similar decision during the first wave of the pandemic.
Mr Furlong added: “This time, we have the benefit of the learnings from the first wave which will inform how we manage this renewed period of pressure and best support our staff and families.
“As soon as it is once again safe to bring the service back we will do so.
“We encourage people to continue to follow the Stay Home guidance, as well as Hands, Face, Space rules when outside the home, as this will help ensure that people can safely access health services this winter if they need to.”
The other children’s intensive care unit and neonatal unit at Leicester’s Hospitals remain open.
Latest figures from the Department of Health and Social Care show that there are now 365 coronavirus patients being treated at Leicester’s hospitals.
This is the highest number of patients at the hospitals at any point during the pandemic.
And other children’s wards across the country have been closed to make way for Covid patients.
Just days ago, it was announced that Kettering General Hospital’s Skylark Children’s Ward was refitted as an emergency Covid respiratory ward.
Young patients may now be transferred to Northampton General Hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, Army doctors are manning heaving intensive care units in London today, The Sun can reveal.
As the NHS struggles with wave after wave of Covid cases, medically-trained troops have stepped in at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, while servicewomen in fatigues were pictured at the Royal Free in Hampstead.
On Monday, 40 British Army medical technicians arrived at St George’s, with a further 30 more due to start today in non-clinical support roles.
Hospital staff were told last night: “Once their induction has been completed, all 70 army personnel will be allocated roles across the Trust, including on ITU and on our wards.”
This comes as the UK experienced its most deadly day of the pandemic – as a staggering 1,610 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
There have also been 33,355 new coronavirus infections recorded in the last day.