South West hospitals drafting in military to support NHS staff and patients – Cornwall Live
Several NHS trusts across the South West are reportedly calling upon military staff to help with ‘administrative and logistical’ tasks, as well as patients’ treatments.
The news comes as hospitals across Somerset have welcomed help from the military starting today (Tuesday, January 19), ITV Westcountry reports.
The staff are being sent to the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) and Weston General Hospital.
And a spokesperson for University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust said that other trusts in the region were taking the same measures.
The spokesperson told ITV said: “Many trusts around the country, including the wider South West, are welcoming military staff from today to provide support where it would be of most benefit, and this includes our Weston and Bristol sites.”
ITV is reporting an internal email announced that “a few dozen military personnel” would be sent to the Bristol and Weston sites.
This comes as the UK has reported the highest number of daily deaths since the pandemic started, as new data showed one in eight people are likely to have had the virus in England, PA reports.
Public Health England (PHE) said a further 1,610 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 – the highest number of UK deaths reported on a single day since the outbreak began.
The new record brings the UK total for those who have died after contracting coronavirus to 91,470.
However, the true number of those who have lost their lives to the virus has already reached the 108,000 mark, once cases where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate is taken into account.
After the latest death figures were revealed, Labour shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth tweeted: “Awful. Horrific. Devastating. And it didn’t have to be like this.”
Dr Yvonne Doyle, PHE’s medical director, said the country should be braced for further deaths and urged people to keep to the current social restrictions.
“Each death is a tragedy and the number of Covid-19 related deaths within 28 days of a positive test will continue for some time throughout this second wave,” she said.
“Whilst there are some early signs that show our sacrifices are working, we must continue to strictly abide by the measures in place. By reducing our contacts and staying at home we will see a fall in the number of infections over time.”
The Government also said that, as of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 33,355 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total to just shy of 3.5 million.