Covid-19: Shropshire hospital operations could be delayed

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Stock vaccination imageImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Vaccination is the "single biggest thing our population can do to try to help", Mark Brandreth says

Elective operations could be delayed at Shropshire's two acute hospitals if numbers of Covid-19 patients increase, an NHS boss says.

Combined, Royal Shrewsbury and Telford's Princess Royal are said to have three wards full of such patients.

Mark Brandreth from the local Clinical Commissioning Group said nine out of 10 people admitted to intensive care were unvaccinated.

He said vaccination was the "single biggest thing" people could do to help.

Speaking to the Telford and Wrekin Health and Wellbeing Board, Mr Brandreth, the group's accountable officer, shared his "great concern" about transmission in primary schools, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"We know we will see that move into children's parents and grandparents over the next period, which is why we're in a race against time to get people vaccinated as much as we can," Mr Brandreth told the meeting.

He said elective surgeries, particularly on hips and knees, had been reduced due to the number of Covid patients.

"My great fear is," he continued, "if those three Covid wards become four or five, the thought of doing elective operating - because that's what would have to stop first - is really scary, because that would include things like cancer."

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The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital combined have three wards of Covid-19 patients, the meeting heard

Angie Wallace, the senior responsible officer for the county vaccination service, asked for councillors' help in addressing vaccine hesitancy and scepticism.

She said the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin area was above the English average in delivering booster jabs, and in the top 10 for vaccinating pregnant women.

But she named Brookside, Dawley, Malinslee, Stirchley, Wellington's College ward and Woodside as areas with "a lower uptake than the national average".

She said vaccines "work" and evidence showed they were working against the Omicron variant, but that people would need the third booster dose.

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