HEALTHCARE services in Argyll and Bute have entered the expected peak demand period of the Covid-19 pandemic, a report has claimed.

The document produced by the area’s health and social care partnership (HSCP) also says that the anticipated infection rate has decreased dramatically, from 80 per cent to nine per cent.

The HSCP’s integration joint board (IJB) is also set to hear that no further hospital beds are currently anticipated in addition to those already obtained, although that is liable to change depending on the situation.

The IJB scrutinised the report, by head of finance and transformation Judy Orr, at a meeting via Skype on Wednesday, May 27.

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Ms Orr said: “Our current best estimate is that we are around week seven of the pandemic in Scotland, although different areas of Scotland are likely to be in different weeks.

“The peak NHS demand in Argyll and Bute is now projected to occur at the end of May.

"We are now working with an assumption of a nine per cent infection rate, well reduced from the worst case 80 per cent infection rate.

“This would mean 21 beds required for critical care for Covid-19 in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) and 42 other hospital beds required for Covid-19 in Argyll and Bute and 14 in NHSGGC.

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"As such no net additional beds are estimated to be required.

“This is a significant reduction from early estimates as a result of the effective social distancing now in place. However, if and when these measures are relaxed, the situation may change.

“Over the coming weeks we will model our actual activity against projections to provide some assurance around the shape and length of the projected demand curve.”

Ms Orr also reported that the eight community assessment centres set up during the Covid-19 pandemic were also responsible for distributing test kits to residential care and community settings, sending tests for analysis and management of the results.

Giving an update on care homes in the area, she also said: “There are some 340 people in care homes in Argyll and Bute and more than 1,100 receiving home care.

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"In addition, there are now more than 2,800 people who are in the shielded category.

“Currently there are three care homes closed to new admissions as a result of Covid-19 outbreaks and two further homes are under surveillance awaiting test results. This picture can change quickly.

“Early experience of caring for Covid-19 patients in the community is beginning to emerge.

“Local pathways considering the presentation and flow of people who may require palliative and end of life care as a consequence of Covid-19 infection should be agreed.”

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