• Frimley has seen rapid acceleration of deaths
  • Beds occupied by covid patients have reduced but ICU under pressure
  • Trust covers Slough, which has some of the highest rates in the country

A trust in the South East has recorded the second highest weekly total of covid deaths since the start of the pandemic’s third wave in early December.

Frimley Health Foundation Trust had 135 deaths in the seven days to 18 January – the last date for which reliable figures are available – the highest total recorded in this period. This is more than a seventh of its total deaths in the 10-month long pandemic. In the last 30 days it has seen 369 deaths – a 412.5 per cent increase on the previous 30 days.

Barts Health Trust recorded the highest weekly total of the current wave, with 140 in the seven-day period ending 13 January. Frimley’s 135 weekly death toll is among the 10 highest recorded by any individual trust during the pandemic.

Around 42 per cent of Frimley’s general and acute beds are filled with covid-positive patients. However, 84 per cent of patients in its intensive care units are covid positive and this has increased substantially over the last week. Like other trusts, it has rushed to open extra ICU beds to cope with a surge of seriously ill patients.

The trust covers a population area of around 800,000, including many affluent areas but with some pockets of deprivation. Its catchment area includes Slough, which has a case rate of over 1,000 per 100,000 – one of the highest in the country – and has around 200 positive cases a day. The borough is around 50 per cent BAME.

The trust issued a statement in reaction to HSJ’s story which said: ”The number of people with Covid-19 who have recently died at Frimley Health sadly reflects the very high numbers of patients we have been caring for in our hospitals. Frimley Health is one of the largest hospital trusts in the country with two big acute hospitals serving more than 800,000 people, and some of our communities have had among the highest infection rates in England in recent weeks. Thanks to the fantastic work of our teams almost 3,000 hospital patients have so far recovered from Covid-19 and returned home to their families.”