Covid patients in intensive care on the rise as Calderdale prepares for mass testing

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The number of patients with covid-19 in intensive care at hospitals in Calderdale and Huddersfield are on the rise.

The daily figures come as Calderdale was announced as one of the areas set to roll out mass testing.

Currently the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust is caring for 122 inpatients who have tested positive for Covid-19, 16 of whom are being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit.

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Since the start of the pandemic, 244 patients who were being cared for at the Trust and had tested positive for Covid-19, have died.

Calderdale Royal HospitalCalderdale Royal Hospital
Calderdale Royal Hospital

Our Trust Medical Director, Dr David Birkenhead said: “These are difficult times for all the families involved and our thoughts are with them”.

Calderdale will be amongst 66 authorities to receive the coronavirus tests with a turnaround time of under an hour following the initial pilot in Liverpool.

The lateral flow tests have a turnaround time of under an hour and are for people who live and work in the areas and do not have symptoms.

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The tests have been available since Friday November 6 in Liverpool.

Matt Hancock said he had written to every director of public health in England on Monday November 9 offering to make the tests available and he is expecting more to sign up.

"Last week we rolled out mass testing in Liverpool using new, rapid technology so we can detect this virus quicker than ever before, even in people who don’t have symptoms. Mass testing is a vital tool to help us control this virus and get life more normal," he said.

"I am delighted to say 10,000 of these tests will now be sent out by NHS Test and Trace to over 50 directors of public health as part of our asymptomatic testing strategy. I want to thank all directors of public health for their support and efforts over the past months to help us tackle this virus, bring it under control and get the country back to what we love doing."

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Calderdale's directors of public health will determine how to prioritise the allocation of these new tests, based on the specific needs of their communities, and will determine how people in the local area are tested.

They will be supported by NHS Test and Trace to expand testing programmes in their area through access to training and clinical and operational guidance.

This initial 600,000 batch will then be followed up with a weekly allocation of lateral flow antigen tests.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has now written to all upper-tier local authority leaders, confirming that all directors of public health will be offered this weekly allocation, equivalent to 10% of their population.

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Directors of public health were prioritised for the first phase of rapid community testing based on the local prevalence of COVID-19 and expressions of interest to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

This rollout will further develop the evidence base for how testing with fast, reliable COVID-19 tests can be delivered at scale.

Calderdale's leaders will also benefit from a more accurate picture of the number of cases in their area, by picking up those who may not have symptoms, supporting local decision-making to manage the spread of the virus and support their communities.

This innovative new testing technology – which is already being rolled out as part of whole-city testing in Liverpool that began on Friday – can provide results within an hour without needing to be processed in a lab.