40,000 people in England likely to have caught Covid in hospital

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In England, more than 40,600 people have been likely infected with coronavirus while being treated in hospital for another reason, raising concerns about the NHS’s inability to protect them.

In one in five hospitals at least a fifth of all patients found to have the virus caught it while an inpatient. North Devon district hospital in Barnstable had the highest rate of such cases among acute trusts in England at 31%.

NHS England figures also reveal stark regional differences in patients’ risk of catching the virus that causes Covid-19 during their stay. Just under a fifth (19%) of those in hospital in the north-west became infected while an inpatient, almost double the 11% rate in London hospitals.

Doctors and hospitals claim that many of the infections were caused by the NHS’s lack of beds and limitations posed by some hospitals being old, cramped and poorly ventilated, as well as health service bosses’ decision that hospitals should keep providing normal care while the second wave of Covid was unfolding, despite the potential danger to those receiving non-Covid care.

Main Photo: A masked man passes a social distancing sign in London, Britain. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

Read more via The Guardian