Childrens intensive care suspended at Glenfield Hospital so beds can be used by adult Covid patients – Leicestershire Live
The children’s intensive care unit at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital has been given over to treating seriously-ill adults with coronavirus.
NHS bosses today confirmed they had taken the ‘difficult decision’ to move its paediatric intensive care activity to Birmingham so beds are available for Covid-19 patients.
The paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Glenfield Hospital is a specialised commissioned centre for congenital cardiac diseases and paediatric and neonatal respiratory ECMO centre.
But now its staff have been moved over to help deal with adult intensive care pressures caused by the virus.
Medical director at Leicester’s Hospitals Andrew Furlong said: “Unfortunately, we are having to make the difficult decision to temporarily move our paediatric intensive care activity to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
“The move will help us to create the additional adult intensive care capacity that will be needed in the coming weeks.
“Whilst this is not an easy decision to make, we believe it to be the safest way to care for our paediatric patients given the emerging coronavirus situation.”
The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust undertook a similar move between March and May to deal with Covid-19 pressure during the first wave of the pandemic.
Mr Furlong said: “This time, we have the benefit of the learnings from the first wave which will inform how we manage this renewed period of pressure and best support our staff and families. As soon as it is once again safe to bring the service back we will do so.
“We encourage people to continue to follow the ‘Stay Home’ guidance, as well as ‘Hands, Face, Space’ rules when outside the home, as this will help ensure that people can safely access health services this winter if they need to.”
Leicester’s director of public health Professor Ivan Browne last week warned that hospitals in the city faced being overwhelmed within a fortnight by the number of coronavirus patients being admitted. Ambuances were also left queuing outside the Royal Infirmary on Friday night.
Prof Brown said: “The current lockdown will, we hope, help slow transmission rates – but over the next two weeks, Leicester’s hospitals risk being overwhelmed as these rapidly rising levels lead to more people requiring hospital care.
“That means there’s a very real risk that there won’t be beds, and places in intensive care units, for all the people who need them – whether it’s because of serious illness caused by coronavirus, or for all the other reasons we depend on the skills and expertise of the NHS.”
Latest figures from the Department of Health and Social Care show that there are now 365 coronavirus patients being treated at Leicester’s hospitals.
That is the highest number at any point during the pandemic.
There are 34 patients on mechanical ventilation.