21) 02/03/20 – 14/03/20

19th March

In difficult times Leicester will be at its best says city mayor as 5th City coronavirus case confirmed



Leicester hospitals confirm how many patients they are treating for Corona virus



First death confirmed at city infirmary”


Hospitals restricting visitor numbers”

Shops shut, flights cancelled, events off”

Sporting calendar all but wiped out”

 Details on pages 1, 6, 7, 12 (latest government prognosis), and letters on 15. One of these is NHS and to the point:

Tom Barker under “Crisis shows how NHS needs proper support”

 p. 12 NATIONAL “HIV drug rolled out”

 p. 20 full-page NHS advert to find trainee nurses


Today pages 1 to 5, a letter on p. 15 and travel advice on p. 35 are all about the corona virus, starting with “Corona virus reaching city”


Pages 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 12 are all about Covid 19, of importance is

Leicester GP believes NHS won’t cope in this crisis



non-NHS: p. 15 a letter by Suresh Chauhan under “Still time to say sorry for years of austerity”

p. 6 “Thousands urged not to visit GP surgeries” – many telling  patients to avoid coming in



What to do if you think you have coronavirus in Leicestershire


p. 9 “’Business as usual’ as hospital treats Covid-19 patient” – in isolation pod at George Elliot


p. 7 “’GPs being driven out of NHS’”, subtitled “Adviser quits role wit CQC ‘driven by its targets’” – a must-read!-see following



7th March

Letter by Giuliana Foster, SONHSL

“In relation to the huge changes that are being proposed under the re-configuration plans by University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) as a result of the recent funding announcement of £450M, all the available evidence suggests that the number of beds planned in the re-configuration are totally inadequate for the increasing population for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in the coming decades. 

“When spokespersons from the hospitals have been questioned on this, we have been told the hospital plans will work if redesigned community services work.  Now given that the local NHS have stated they would like to go out to public consultation on the re-configuration of our acute hospitals as soon as the end of this month (March), it seems ridiculous that the Community Services Re-design is still underway and the outcome unknown to the public.

“How can the public know whether the hospital plans will work if we don’t know – for example – whether some of the community hospitals will be closing as the NHS has previously suggested?  I find myself asking “Would you try to put up a garden fence, without first working out exactly how much fencing and how many posts you are going to need?”  The fact that the Draft Consultation Document (presented at the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 24th Jan, 2020) stated:  ‘This Consultation does NOT include  Community Hospitals, GP Practices and Community Services’, should be ringing alarm bells very loudly.  How can Hospital Trust and LPT (Leicester Partnership Trust) be working together on this?  Surely the whole of the hospital re-configuration plans should be in a wider context and include Community Services Re-design/Community Hospitals in order for the plan to be coherent.

“The fact that UHL have had lots of Opel level 4 (or ‘black alerts’) alerts in recent months indicating severe pressure on the service threatening patient safety just goes to show how desperately more beds are required and the fact that patients are ‘stranded’ because they cannot be discharged due to not having a ‘care package’ or an available bed in a community setting is just exacerbating the whole problem.  On top of that we now have Coronavirus which reminds us that we need to plan for public health emergencies. Meanwhile Community hospital beds are running at over 90% bed occupancy.  Surely this demonstrates why community hospitals such as Feilding Palmer Cottage Hospital, Lutterworth and the Rutland Memorial Hospital in Oakham should not be under threat of closure when their beds are so valuable to the ‘bigger picture’.”

Giuliana Foster


6th March

p. 12 NATIONAL “UK patient dies as virus plan escalates”

p. 23 “Nursing care scheme wins national innovation award”, subtitled “System saves time getting staff to their home patients”  – increasing patient time considerable; several Leics. nursing teams


5th March

Pages 1a, 4 and 5 “Heather’s death and the health care maze” and “You find yourself in the middle of a system that you have no idea how to navigate” – family pushes for improvements; Liz Kendall’s comments


p. 12 “UK coronavirus cases jump to 85”