MORE patients have died at Herefordshire's hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus, the latest NHS figures show.

NHS data showed 19 people died in April at the Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs Hereford County Hospital, after testing positive for Covid-19.

That was up from nine in March and 11 in February, and four in January.


As of 4pm on Tuesday (May 10), a total of 321 patients had died at Wye Valley NHS Trust hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19, including six so far in May.

But the toll recently is far below previous months.

In December 2020, 28 deaths were reported, followed by 82 in January, 34 in February and five in March.

Over recent months, the trust has been dealing with a rise in coronavirus cases on its wards and in the community and visiting was, for a time, suspended in most, but not all, circumstances.

The managing director of Herefordshire's NHS has said Covid has been a "perfect storm" in recent weeks and has "wreaked havoc".

Jane Ives, managing director of the Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs Hereford County Hospital, said staffing numbers and patient pathways were being badly affected.

In a report for April's trust board meeting, she said the overall picture was "a very challenging one".


"Covid continues to wreak havoc across our patient pathways and staffing numbers," she said.

"The impact of two years of sustained pressure on our staff is clear in our staff turnover figures.

"For context, these are at the same or lower level than other ICS (integrated care systems) organisations."

She said Covid had created a "perfect storm" in recent weeks, with staff vacancies from Covid doubling in 28 days.

She said that while most patients are admitted with Covid rather than because of it, emergency pathways are slow because of infection prevention control measures.

The latest figures from the Government showed the trust was caring for 29 patients with Covid at 8am on May 3 – 35 fewer than the week before.