NORMALITY at Basingstoke and Andover hospitals could be “some way off” according to the chief executive, who has admitted that the number of people whose care has been delayed because of the pandemic is “our most significant risk”.

Reporting to Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Board of Directors meeting, Alex Whitfield said energy is now focused on restoring clinical services and increasing the amount of planned and elective work which can be done.

However, she said the number of day cases and elective cases are “approximately a third of what we were doing before Covid-19”.

She added: “These numbers are increasing slowly, but the impact of the infection control precautions on productivity, is such that a return to the full activity levels seen in 2019 are likely to be some way off.”

Alex said the focus now is on ensuring that patients are prioritised and that all urgent and cancer care can take place.

She added: “The number of people whose care has been delayed is probably our most significant risk at this time.”

The meeting also heard that one of the Trust's goals is to maximise capacity to treat non-urgent patients on a clinical priority basis.

The aim is to reach 2019-20 capacity by April 2021.