Since the start of July, the amount of coronavirus transmission in Welsh hospitals has fallen to almost zero across much of Wales, but the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board is bucking the trend with a sharp increase of transmission in the hospital setting in the past two weeks.
Last week, 31 people caught the virus in hospitals while there for reasons unrelated to the coronavirus. The rest of Wales only saw five.
The blame cannot simply be placed on the recent outbreaks in Angelsey and Wrexham, as the North Wales Board of Health has the highest hospital transmission rate since April 19.
Carrie Harper, Plaid Cymru advisor in Wrexham, said staff and patients “needed insurance.” She added: “The persistent number of new cases in Wrexham, although relatively low, is a concern. I know of patients at Wrexham Maelor Hospital who have acquired Covid-19 in at least one ward and I am sure staff and patients would like reassurance from Public Health Wales that testing and screening are in place to prevent any larger outbreaks.
“While we all understand the need to avoid speculation, where there is an information vacuum there will always be rumors. The need for clear communication of the facts has never been greater and now PHW must provide that clarity to allay fears. the community. “
Critics have alleged that the spike in transmissions at the hospital was due to a loosening of rules regarding when and where it is mandatory to wear PPE inside the hospital.
Simon Dean, Acting CEO of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “We take our responsibilities for infection prevention and control very seriously and are doing everything we can to reduce the risk of infection with Covid -19 in our hospitals for our staff and our patients.
“We have taken a series of measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including testing all patients who are due for scheduled surgery before being admitted to hospital. Starting this week, all admissions – including emergencies – across the board of health will be tested. We also provide general training to staff on infection prevention and hygiene, supported by a high visibility communication campaign; follow official instructions from the Chief Medical Officer on PPE use and verify compliance through PPE “champions”; undertake additional cleaning of hospitals; impose visit restrictions and increase the number of hand disinfection stations for staff and patients.
“We are also increasing staffing levels in areas where patient management may be more difficult – for example, care of the elderly. A post-infection examination is performed for each case of Covid-19 acquired in hospital to help us learn from the incidents. ”
The health board was criticized earlier in the crisis after failing to report all coronavirus cases because they were not using the correct and expensive computer system.
When approached by WalesOnline, Mr Dean said the board of health was “not complacent”.
‘We are the largest health board in Wales, covering 22 percent of the Welsh population and have had more cases of Covid-19 than other boards of health,’ he said.
“Covid-19 is very contagious and it can be difficult to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We are not complacent and we are building on what we have learned so far. We actively encourage patients, the public and staff to wear masks or masks in public spaces at all health board sites and are actively exploring repeat testing of patients seven days after a negative test to improve surveillance for the virus. on our sites.
“Everyone has a role to play in preventing the spread of infection and we are grateful for the public’s support for observing good hand hygiene, maintaining social distancing and not visiting health care facilities in the event of symptoms of Covid-19. ”