Concern over possible coronavirus hotspots in St Neots, Sawtry and Huntingdon

Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Hinchingbrooke Hospital - Credit: Archant

According to information obtained by The Hunts Post, concerns have been raised about Covid-19 hotspots in St Neots, Sawtry and Huntingdon.

An internal email sent out to all district councillors yesterday (Wednesday) has caused widespread concern as it warns that “admission rates at Hinchingbrooke Hospital related to Covid-19 are not declining at the rate we would, at this stage, expect”.

The email, which The Hunts Post has seen, then goes on to say: “There are some hotspots emerging from patients with symptoms who are presenting at primary care (largely GPs and community pharmacies). These concentrations are found in Huntingdon, St Neots and Sawtry”.

The email from HDC managing director Jo Lancaster, says according to the latest data from health colleagues there are “a number of worrying trends”.

MORE: Covid-19 infections in Huntingdonshire have “plateaued” and are not falling in the same way they are elsewhere, says public health expert

Rather than issuing a formal statement or press release, HDC asked councillors to use “local communication channels to get the message out to residents”.

St Neots district councillor Barry Chapman said he checked the information with chief executive Jo Lancaster after he had been questioned about the source.

“If the admission rate is not going down at Hinchingbrooke Hospital at the same rate as elsewhere and people start going out more there could well be a second spike which could have serious consequences in St Neots and Huntingdon and people should be aware of that information.”

Most Read

But to add to the confusion, The Hunts Post contacted Public Health England this morning (Thursday) who told us the level of detail mentioned about hotspots in towns and villages is just not available at this time.

The spokesperson also said important public health information would not usually be disseminated in this way.

The Hunts Post has contacted HDC, Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Cambridgeshire County Council, and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group for comment.

In a statement, HDC said: “A recent increase in local people going to their GP surgeries in Huntingdonshire with Coronavirus-like symptoms does not mean an increase in cases - but while rates of infection across the East of England and Cambridgeshire as a whole are generally low, Huntingdonshire infection rates have ‘plateaued’ and are not falling as fast as other parts of the county, Dr Liz Robin, the county’s director of public health has confirmed.”

Information about patients attending GP surgeries in Cambridgeshire with symptoms which may be related to Covid-19 show that some areas in Huntingdonshire are above the Cambridgeshire average - but these symptoms also occur in other illnesses, so we can’t draw firm conclusions.”

Dr Robin said: “Although the Government has eased the lockdown measures, there are still strict guidelines in place to control the spread of the virus, which we must all follow. Coronavirus has not gone away, and, unless we follow the guidelines, infection rates will increase, leading to more illness and more deaths.”