THERE ARE no inpatients that have tested positive for Covid-19 at Basingstoke hospital, the council's deputy leader has announced.

Cllr Simon Bound told councillors on Thursday (June 25) that Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), who run the hospital as well as sites in Andover and Winchester, were not currently treating any patients that had tested positive for the virus.

Throughout the outbreak, Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital had treated a total of 388 Covid-positive patients, the councillor continued, with 43 of those being admitted to the intensive care unit.

Across Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals, the total number of patients who have died from the virus is 160.

It comes as figures released today (Saturday) reveal that there have been just four coronavirus deaths at HHFT since the start of June.

Cllr Bound told the meeting: "We should all be proud to know that Basingstoke hospital has been leading the way with COVID-19 testing from the beginning of the pandemic and the laboratory at the hospital was the first non-Public Health England lab to begin testing for coronavirus back in early March – weeks ahead of others.

"Led by clinical scientist Stephen Kidd, this allowed the trust to test both patients and staff and get the results more rapidly so that the clinical teams can take the best possible action. This has been a huge team effort from clinical scientists and the laboratory team to volunteers from academia and industry, as well as the staff on the wards.

"As well as this great work, the trust is currently leading a pilot for a mobile 20-minute COVID-19 test, working with a company called Optigene and the Department of Health and Social Care. Not only does the test produce a rapid result but the equipment can be safely taken out of a traditional laboratory setting to be used elsewhere in hospitals and out in the community.

"The pilot will see the test being used at the front doors of the two emergency departments in Basingstoke and Winchester, as well as GP testing hubs and care homes in Hampshire.

"Receiving results on site will mean people with symptoms will be given immediate certainty as to whether or not they have the virus, and appropriate next steps can be followed as quickly as possible."

Additionally, the deputy leader confirmed that there had been 114 deaths in the borough up until June 12, including 32 in care homes, whilst a total of 734 people were confirmed to have had the virus in Basingstoke and Deane, up until June 21.

However, he warned caution and that people should still follow the coronavirus rules, including social distancing.

"With all of this in mind we should not forget COVID is still with us and it is therefore important that we all continue to follow the national guidance whether it be “track and trace”, social distancing, regularly washing our hands and staying alert to the risk of shared surfaces," Cllr Bound said.

"As a council we continue to issue regular updates on how this impacts local services and facilities

"Once again, I would like to thank our amazing key workers, our council officers and our incredible community of Basingstoke and Deane for pulling together with a common goal to support each other to fight this terrible virus."