THE trust that runs Basingstoke hospital said it is “cautiously optimistic” that the number of Covid patients has steadied and that it “may be past the peak for this wave”.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) reported to its board of directors in February that it was caring for 81 patients with Covid-19: 43 at Basingstoke hospital, 35 at Winchester hospital, and three at Andover hospital.

It said its status for all three hospitals was ‘red’ alert – the second highest alert – meaning the hospitals are experiencing ‘major pressures compromising patient flow’.

Its highest number of patients with Covid during what it refers to as ‘wave three’ was 103 patients in total.

The report said: “We are cautiously optimistic that the number has steadied and we may be past the peak for this wave.”

More than half of patients in HHFT hospitals with Covid had no symptoms and had been admitted for another reason.

However, the trust had also experienced “in hospital outbreaks” with patients testing positive for Covid on day 10 or 15 of their hospital stay.

The trust said: “We have implemented ore stringent measures to prevent in hospital spread, including more restrictions on visiting and increasing the areas where staff are to wear FFP3 masks. The number of new positive tests has reduced.”

It added: “It is clear that Omicron, in vaccinated patients is much less likely to lead to a hospital admission for Covid symptoms, but it is highly transmissible. Caring for patients who are Covid positive, even when they are asymptotic, adds a significant level of complexity to a hospital stay as we work to prevent Covid spreading from one patient to another.”

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