BASINGSTOKE hospital has seen a “significant” increase in the number of patients with Covid in recent months.

A report prepared for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) Board of Directors’ meeting, states that both patients being admitted with Covid, and staff testing positive has increased.

The report, published in July, stated that at the time of writing there were 33 patients with Covid in Basingstoke hospital, 16 in Winchester hospital, and one in Andover hospital.

It said: “This number has gone up significantly in the last few weeks”.

It added: “There has been a rise in positive staff PCR tests, and in the number of staff needing to isolate through track and trace. This is in line with the rise in community prevalence, as well as an increase in the number of Covid-19 positive patients in our hospitals.”

As a result, the trust said it has seen “increased levels of absence relating to Covid positive tests, or Covid related isolation requirements”.

The report said that patients with Covid in hospital were “typically younger” and the length of their stay was “much shorter”.

It said: “We are admitting patients who have been vaccinated as well as unvaccinated patients, but the age profile shows that the vaccine is very effective at reducing the need for a hospital admission.

“Our overwhelming circulation strain, in line with the national picture is the Delta variant, which is more transmissible than the Alpha variant it has supplanted.”

The trust reported that NHS staff are now being asked to order lateral flow tests centrally from the government, meaning kits are no longer distributed by the hospital.

It said: “In line with this change staff are expected to switch to once a week saliva (LAMP) testing. The number of staff reporting their lateral flow results has been dropping and a renewed effort is being made to encourage regular testing and reporting of results.”

The most recent figures from the government show that between August 16 and 22, 34 people were admitted to a HHFT hospital with coronavirus, showing an increase of 30.8 per cent compared to the previous seven days.

A total of 25 patients were in a HHFT hospital with coronavirus on August 24 with one on a ventilator.