Cost of COVID-19 to health group is revealed

The COVID-19 pandemic has cost Lincolnshire’s county Care Commissioning Group £38.2m to the end of January.

A report to the board of the group (CCG) outlines the cost in terms of finance, and the impact on other services across the county.

“Lincolnshire has continued to experience a high number of positive cases as a county over the last month; however like may other areas across the region and country we are starting to see the infection rates stabilise or decrease in some districts,” says the report.

The county achieved the national target for vaccinating the identified top four priority groups by February 15.

“This was a hugely challenging target for the NHS across the country and particularly for us in Lincolnshire as we have a disproportionately, significantly high number of care homes compared to the average,” the report says.

Patient feedback has been ‘overwhelmingly’ positive, it added.

But cancer waiting lists are growing as a result of the pandemic – with the majority of delay in colo-rectal, urology or head and neck pathways.

Daily meetings are held at the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) to address the issue and a mutual aid request has been sent to the East Midlands Alliance Surgical Hub. Clinicians are also liaising with the Nottingham Surgical Hub to identify any capacity to place patients.

“The current wave is threatening encroaching on cancer capacity and some patients are reluctant to attend appointments,” says the report.

The largest backlog in terms of diagnostics is within cardiac patients at ULHT and an action plan is being prepared to ease problems.

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