High cost of COVID and tiers to come

South Holland residents are due to discover on Thursday what tier of restrictions will be in force once lockdown ends next week.

The county’s Care Commissioning Group (CCG) also met yesterday and it was revealed that the cost of COVID-19 to the local health service is £27.2m to the end of October.
With the new three-tier restrictions due to come into force next week, there was speculation that high numbers of infection in north Lincolnshire could see the whole county in Tier 2.
If that proves to be the case, households cannot mix indoors but can outdoors with a total of six people.
Pubs can stay open only if they serve substantial meals, schools, gyms and places of worship can open and live events, including sport, is limited to 50 per cent capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors.
All businesses can stay open and 15 people can attend a wedding, 30 at a funeral and 15 at commemorative events such as wakes.
All businesses can remain open and care homes should offer regular testing for two family members or friends per resident by Christmas.
A meeting of the CCG was presented with a raft of figures relating to the cost of the pandemic – with all staffing accounting for £324m from April to October. Nurses cost £96.5m, other clincial staff £95.6m and non clinical £42m.
Expenditure which was COVID-19 related was £27.2m with the United LIncolnshire Hospital Trust the highest-spending organisation with £14.4m.
“Staffing costs have been the area with the highest level of spend related to COVID with £12.4m,” says the report.
The resurgence of the pandemic in the county has seen ‘significant numbers of patients needing hospital treatment and staff absences due to COVID isolation or symptoms.’
The factors combined to impact capacity at hospitals and the Pilgrim, in Boston, temporarily halted all non-urgent surgery in November.
The impact on cancer services also revealed the CCG is ranked third lowest nationally for treating urgent cancer referrals in under 62 days.
The national target is 85 per cent of patients and September figures were 63 per cent for Lincolnshire.
“There is no single cause for the 62 day performance. Four tumour sites are responsible for the greatest number; head and neck, urology, gynaecology and colorectal,” the report says.
“Additional resource has been focused where needed,” it added and a second head and neck consultant has returned to the team with a third due this month.
The most recent figures at the time of going to press indicated that South Holland had 150 cases of COVID-19 between November 13 and 19, a fall of 78 on the previous week. There were 63 deaths in total to October 30 and 1,692 total cases recorded in the district.
East Lindsey has 699 cases over November 13 to 19, a fall of 51 and a total of 3,106 cases and 68 deaths overall.

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