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Coronavirus caught in Staffordshire hospitals leads to 107 deaths

More than 100 patients in hospitals in Staffordshire died as a result of developing Covid-19 while they were there.

A total of 107 patients at Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford died after testing positive after stays of 15 days or more.

However, the real figure could be higher, with 154 people dying after testing positive when they had been in one of the hospitals for only seven days.

All the cases are being reviewed by The University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust to see if improvements can be made as a result.

It is understood the hospital, which had its peak in December 2020 with 30 hospital-related Covid-19 deaths, is among the first UK hospitals to report such figures.

Research last year showed one in eight coronavirus cases in UK hospitals were probably contracted on-site.

The statistics were highlighted during the trust's board meeting, and cover the period from March 2020 to the end of January 2021.

In total, the hospitals treated more than 4,200 coronavirus patients during that period.

Campaigner, Ian Syme from North Staffordshire Healthwatch, said he believed a lack of floor space around the NHS is a factor in spreading infection.

He said: "The hospitals haven't got the breathing space, they haven't got the capacity, they haven't got the acreage for the beds, compared to other countries."

The trust's chief nurse and director of infection prevention, Michelle Rhodes, said:

"As seen nationally, our hospital-acquired transmission rates of Covid-19 increase in line with community infection.

"All definite deaths are being retrospectively reviewed and outcomes will be reported to the Trust Mortality Review Group. This is to establish if there are any lessons to learn which may help us to minimise this happening to other patients in the future."