HOSPITAL bosses say they are ‘continuing to prioritise the health and wellbeing of everyone in Barnsley’ after numbers of Covid inpatients last month dwarfed what was previously considered to be the peak.

When Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Saturday night, people were dismayed to see Barnsley Hospital at the top of a Covid ‘heat map’ for cases registered at the hospital through October.

According to the figures, taken from NHS weekly statistics, Barnsley had nine days from October 22 where numbers of Covid-positive inpatients surpassed their previous peak.

There were 12 days immediately before then where numbers of inpatients were more than half the peak.

The Chronicle understands that at the height of the April surge, there were around 78 inpatients confirmed positive.

And according to the most recent publicly-accessible NHS information, there were 104 beds containing confirmed Covid patients as of October 27.

At the start of October, there were no new daily admissions and diagnoses related to Covid for two days, before rising to four on October 3 and then quadrupling to 16, ten days later.

There were 25 new admissions and diagnoses on October 25, according to the NHS figures.

While Barnsley didn’t have the outright highest figures in terms of daily cases, the hospital is among the five worst-hit in terms of Covid inpatents surpassing the previous peak - alongside Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, Nottingham University Hospitals, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and Liverpool University Hospitals.

Dr Andy Snell, public health consultant for Barnsley Hospital and Barnsley Council, said: “Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has had higher numbers of inpatients with Covid-19 through the second half of October than there were through the previous peak in April.

“This is a result of high numbers of Covid-19 infections in the general population in Barnsley, and includes people of all ages, including the elderly and most vulnerable.

“During these challenging times, the hospital and our health and care partners across Barnsley continue to prioritise the health and wellbeing of everyone in Barnsley, and to provide safe and effective care to patients.

“If you require medical care and attention, whether for Covid-19 or any other illness or injury, please don’t hesitate to call NHS 111, contact your GP or come to the hospital for urgent care.

“Please also keep any planned appointments unless advised otherwise.

“The rate of Covid-19 nationally and in Barnsley continues to be high and we must all adhere to ‘Hands, Face, Space’, and to the further guidance on social distancing announced over the weekend.

“It is very important that we drive the spread of the disease down and keep each other safe.”