HEALTH bosses say it is safe for people who have planned operations to go into hospital.

Wye Valley NHS Trust managing director Jane Ives said they have prepared for the winter and have a ‘pathway’ system to make sure Hereford County Hospital is safe.

She said they are nervous about the extra pressures this winter but are hoping to maintain their levels of planned care.

“That link together of Covid-19, flu and normal winter pressures and trying to maintain as much planned care as we possibly can is an awful lot to deliver.

“We’ve got a plan across that but the lower the levels of Covid-19 are, the easier it is to maintain everything else.

“Throughout the whole period, we have maintained all emergency care and cancer care but for patients who are waiting for more planned and elective care we are now up to a reasonably high level of 90%.

“We want to keep it at those levels throughout the winter and get patients to their treatment as soon as they can.

“It’s safe, we’ve separated out Covid-19 patients from other emergency patients and planned patients so they are on a green pathway which means the patients have tested for coronavirus before they come in and that whole environment is Covid free. Patients can feel very confident if we’ve asked them to come in for elective care.”

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Public health director Karen Wright said the county was doing well but it is vital that people follow the guidance to keep virus levels down.

“It’s fluctuating at the moment. Compared to other areas we have got smaller numbers but they have increased. The chances of people being in contact with somebody positive has increased, therefore the more we follow the basics the more we can protect each other.”

There are currently 84.5 positive cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days.