Rise in patients with covid being cared for in East Kent Hospitals

Covid care Photo EKHUFT

The latest data published by NHS England shows a rise in the number of patients with Covid being cared for in East Kent Hospitals.

The trust had 227 covid patients as of December 8, a rise from 121 on December 1. This figure is for the main hospitals at Margate, Ashford and, to a lesser degree, Canterbury.

The data shows 18 mechanical ventilation beds in use for patients with confirmed positive covid tests.

The data does not record how many patients are in individual hospitals although a source informs The Isle of Thanet News that currently (week ending December 13) patients are QEQM 112, Ashford 98 and Canterbury 14.

The trust has recorded 618 covid related deaths across its hospitals since the pandemic began up to December 12 and recorded 47 covid related deaths between December 1-7. Data for December 8-12 shows 22 recorded deaths but NHS England warns figures for these dates could change as post mortem tests and data are validated.

Those aged 60 and over account for the largest loss of life nationally. In the south east a total of 290 deaths have been recorded where a positive test result for COVID-19 was not received but COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate.

Government data shows 70 new positive cases reported for Thanet today (December 13) making a seven day total of 573, down 11.4% on the preceding seven days. A total of 5,110 positive tests have been recorded for Thanet.

The rolling seven day rate per 100,000 people is 416.4 as of December 8.

One death within 28 days of a positive test has been recorded today, making 17 in the last seven days and 195 as of December 12 (loss of life within 28 days of a positive test). Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but may not be the primary cause of death.

Thanet, which had the fourth highest covid rate in England in the week for 25 November to 1 December, is now 21st on the infection rate list for the UK. This is below Swale (4th), Medway (9th) Dover (14th) Maidstone (17th) Gravesham (18th) and Canterbury (20th).

The England weekly average rate per 100,000 people now stands at 173.5 (as of December 8) and the Kent rolling rate was 399.9 as of the same date, according to the government coronavirus map.

The figures are updated daily, although there is some time lag on some statistics. They can be found on the government dashboard here and here and on the KCC website here

Tier levels

Tier 3 closures

Despite the decline in rates for Thanet it is unlikely that Kent as a whole will move out of Tier 3 restrictions when this is reviewed by government on December 16 – meaning hospitality businesses such as pubs and hotels will lose any Christmas trade due to enforced closure or takeaway/delivery services only.

The government’s decisions on tiers is made by ministers based on recommendations by government scientists and medics, taking into account:

  • infection rates in all age groups and in particular among the over 60s
  • how quickly case rates are rising or falling
  • the number of cases per 100,000 in the general population
  • pressure on the NHS – including current and projected NHS capacity (admissions, bed occupancy and staff absences)
  • local factors and exceptional circumstances such as a local but contained outbreak.

Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group has opened more critical care beds for Covid patients.

A statement from the CCG says: “All hospitals across Kent and Medway continue to be under significant pressure due to the high rates of infection in the local communities.

“We have opened more critical care beds to support Covid-19 patients, and will be opening more. We’re continuing to provide cancer and other urgent operations. However, we are now pausing non-urgent elective services. This will allow staff to move to support the increased number of Covid-19 patients.

“Initially this will be for a two week period. We will keep this under weekly review and will contact individual patients where appointments need to be rescheduled.”

Asymptomatic testing

Military support MOD Crown Copyright

Military support will be used for asymptomatic testing in Thanet and Swale. This helps to identify those people who may have the coronavirus without symptoms and who are therefore potentially spreading it unknowingly within their families and local communities.

The first asymptomatic testing sites have been identified for Swale and Thanet and further sites are being investigated in other districts.

Lateral flow testing will help to reduce case numbers in those areas and get back to manageable levels of the virus, and place Kent in a better position to move out of Tier 3.

People without symptoms of COVID-19 will receive a lateral flow test. This is a swab test, but unlike PCR where a laboratory and specialist equipment is needed, the result is given within 30 minutes.

This testing is being funded by central Government to support local councils to manage the second wave of the pandemic.

Thanet currently has a walk-in testing site in Margate and a drive/walk in at Manston.


Kenneth Lamb receiving the vaccine from Kirsty Rison, Occupational Health Nurse at William Harvey Hospital (Photo EKHUFT)

The NHS began its vaccination programme with the Pfizer/BioTech vaccine last week.

People aged 80 and over as well as care home workers have been first to receive the jab, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk.

There were 50 hubs in the first wave – including the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford – and more hospitals have now begun vaccinations, including Medway.

GPs and other primary care staff are also being put on standby to start delivering the jab. A small number of GP-led primary care networks will begin doing so from tomorrow, including Montefiore Medical Centre in Ramsgate which is understood to be one of five selected in Thanet. More practices will be included on a phased basis during December and in the coming months.

UK infection rates (government data)

Merthyr Tydfil 787.4

Neath Port Talbot 764.7

Newport 651.7

Swale 646.3

Swansea 622.7

Caerphilly 619.1

Bridgend 618.8

Blaenau Gwent 608.3

Medway 604.9

Rhondda Cynon Taf 582.8

Basildon 562.5

Torfaen 510.9

Lincoln 505.5

Dover 478.3

Havering 470.8

Cardiff 465.2

Maidstone 460.9

Gravesham 460.1

Boston 421.8

Canterbury 419

Thanet 416.4

Ashford 389.1

Carmarthenshire 379.8

Folkestone & Hythe 378.8

Other Kent rates

Tonbridge and Malling 346.6

Dartford 310.8

Tunbridge Wells 232.5

Details of Covid attributed deaths data: NHS England and NHS Improvement publish the number of patients who have died in hospital and tested positive for COVID-19 in England.  Since Tuesday 28 April, NHS England and NHS Improvement also reports the number of patient deaths where there has been no COVID-19 positive test result, but where COVID-19 is documented as a direct or underlying cause of death on part 1 or part 2 of the death certification process. This change has been introduced for deaths that occurred on 24 April and subsequently.

This means the NHS England and NHS Improvement data collection provides information on all COVID related (suspected and confirmed) deaths in England hospitals.


  1. We should be told figures for individual hospitals not area of hospitals . Why not give us the full facts for Margate hospital individually, would be more relevant to thanet peoy

    • And even better add to that the BMI of those admitted, perhaps then we’ll understand where the problem really lies and how simple it would be to releave the pressure on the nhs and country as a whole.

      • Agreed. Can’t see why being overweight isn’t being listed alongside (other) underlying health issues, ditto with smoking.

        • To Local Chap and Peter Checksfield. Why fat shame? There have been many people die from Covid-19 who aren’t fat. Age is the number 1 factor and genetic make-up. The data is being collected and collated, but why would you need to know? Are you fat, smokers, BAME, or just plain critical of people? “A recent study of 88,463 patients across the world in hospital with Covid-19 found that among their most common conditions were chronic heart disease (30%), diabetes (16%), chronic lung disease (not asthma) (16%) and chronic kidney disease (16%).” and “Nearly 8% of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units have been morbidly obese, compared with 2.9% of the general population.”
          Knowing the chief risks of transmission and how to avoid it is the most useful information that anyone needs, the rest would be just fuelling your prejudices.

          • No one is “fat shaming” but if you were to talk to an icu nurse and ask the common denominator with those admitted for covid it WILL be excess weight. Ask an admissions nurse how they make their initial assessment of someone’s likelihood of needing medical help if they have covid it WILL be excess weight.
            Wether its the excess weight alone or the often attendant lack of fitness or both i don’t know, however the general view is that as covid affects the bodies ability to take up oxygen a person who’s ability is already comprimised will usually suffer more.
            Even before covid excess weight and associated problems cost the nhs around 16 billion a year. Cut that in half and you have no funding problems for the nhs and plenty left over for social care, so it should not be seen as wrong to address a major health issue in the country that is getting worse every year.
            Currently staff at QEQM are being given weight watchers vouchers.
            I’ve no interest in what wieight people wish to be or are happy being but given the costs to society its a matter of public health that needs discussing ,otherwise the patently obvious is ignored and given the damage thats been inflicted on the economy , the obvious needs discussing.

          • In addition your figures are very selective, how many of those with the conditions you quote are also overweight and whilst i won’t argue with your figure for the morbidly obese , how many were obese and how many had bmi’s in excess of 28.

          • Far from “fat shaming”, I adore women with a few extra pounds (as you’ll know if you’ve seen my photography). But IF weight is a factor, then surely it makes sense for those with a high BMI to take extra care by staying indoors? Circumstantially, it does seem to me that most of the younger people who’ve suffered badly have been overweight and/or non-white, though I’ll probably also get accused of racism for saying that (despite the fact that I was raised with a fabulous black West Indian stepfather)…

          • Sorry, but the old victimhood/shut people up because you don’t want to hear the reality of ‘fat shaming’ & ‘healthy at any size’ doesn’t work in the real world, only the imaginary woke one.

            Obesity is not good for anybody-it increases your risks of various cancers, heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes etc by huge amounts compared to somebody with a healthy BMI, it puts strain on your heart & other organs. It is basically a killer & makes fighting off viruses & bugs a lot more difficult.





          • Obesity is a self inflected injury, my mother used to say you are what you eat, and if you eat crap you will look like crap (or words to that affect!). I am just under 6 feet tall, and under 12 stone, I enjoy my food, but avoid carbs, animal fat, and exercise daily, and eat a balanced diet. Yes I am obesity phobic, because when I see someone like this, I know they are going to cost me money from my taxes, to treat all their self inflicted ailments, listed earlier, including probably replacement knee joints! They should be told they won’t be treated until they lose weight, and eat properly balanced food, instead of the junk they obviously eat now!



  2. Levels of testing are increasing – cars queuing up in Eaton Road on Saturday waiting to get into the Dreamland test centre.

    Positive cases should rise substantially next week so that will ensure we stay in Tier 3 well into next year . . .

    • No. What’s considered is the *rate*, not the number. No matter how many tests are carried out, if the number of infections stays the same, the rate will stay the same. If the rate goes up, it’s because the number of infections has gone up.

      • Sorry Andrew but I believe you are wrong.

        What is reported in this article (and all the others) is the NUMBER of positive cases per 100,000 of population ie 416.4. This bears no relationship to the number that are actually being tested, nor does it account for those who tested positive last week and went back for another test this week and tested positive again.

  3. Why aren’t the Nightingale hospitals being used? There was so much hype about them opening to take the burden off the local hospitals at great expense, but now we hear nothing about them.

    There is a holiday lets business near me which is continuing to let rooms out to guests mixing in shared accommodation throughout the tier 3 lockdown breaching the regulations but no health authority has bothered to take any action.

    • The nightingales aren’t being used because there is not enough demand to make them neede, plus you’d need to draft in medical staff from hospitals and the armed forces to run them anyway.
      They were built on the back of worst case scenario figures when little was known about covid. If it were to be seen (for what it is) as a nasty seasonal flu for which an annual flu jab for the vulnerable would allow everyone else to carry on none of us would be much the wiser.
      The average age of a covid fatality is higher than the average UK life expectancy, once all the numbers are crunched in the years to come the effects of pretty much shutting the health service down will result in far more lost years of life expectancy than covid ever will.
      We’re a fat , unhealthy , unfit country and are currently paying the price for it. And for many years to come the country is going to have to pay the bill.

  4. So PC + Local Chap, how do you drastically reduce weight in a matter of hours and days? Yes, a more active life style with a reduced balanced intake is a good idea ,but what are you going to do; leave people to die based on their waist measurement?
    Nagging people or fat shaming them does not work.
    One way forward is to make healthy food cheaper and unhealthy food more expensive, but then of course we get in to the free market and libertarian issues, and no doubt you will complain about authoritarian central govt. Moaning and fat shaming is so much more satisfying for the self righteous!
    As as for our Malthusian friend; you stop breeding if you want too, no one is stopping you.
    There are 2 correlations with covid:
    1.Age is a key factor. The PM was/is overweight but he survived due to his age profile and top notch health care.
    2.Deprivation: referring to 1.Thanet is a deprived area, with low wages, poor housing and a hospital trust that is not top flight. Neither for that matter is primary care. If the PM operated out of Thanet, his chances of survival would be lower.

    Testing and especially using lateral flow tests, based on what happened in Liverpool, is not going to work.
    One solution is to buy a freezer for QEQM and START COVID IMMUNISATION NOW!
    Stop dodging about and get the vaccine issued to Swale, Medway, Thanet and Dover. The West of Kent can cope, the problem is here in the east.
    This will fall on deaf ears because the elite and all the power resides elsewhere. Thanet, Swale, Medway and the east will continue to burn while the fire brigade puts out bonfires of Covid in Sevenoaks.
    Forget testing, its too late, mass immunisation is the only bullet left in the armoury.

    • Of course I don’t expect them to immediately lose weight, but surely if it’s a factor then they should be encouraged to stay indoors?

      As for prices of food, that is frankly b*ll*cks. Porridge, tinned sardines and frozen sprouts (to name just 3) are both cheap and nutritious, as well as easily available in most stores. People just need educating… and a little self-discipline.

      • Yep, if you add up the cost of all the junk food obese people buy like cakes, biscuits etc & let’s be serious usually they have the biggest shopping trolleys possible & it is jammed to the top & then add up the cost of a regular sized trolley full of healthier choices, I believe that the healthier options would almost certainly work out cheaper. I have yet to see obese people in the fruit & veg aisles filling up on my shopping trips, I mean it is the first thing you enter at most supermarkets, yet they somehow seem to drive through it & go straight along to the fizzy pop, cakes, biscuits etc aisles.

        By 2050 it is estimated that half of both the UK & the US will be overweight or obese & most experts now believe it will be higher than that. This is going to cause an impossible strain on the NHS which is already at breaking point.

        It is abysmal & abysmal that even on a local news site such as this we now have the ‘fat shaming’& healthy at every size movement of victimhood appearing to defend obesity as if it is some sort of amazing thing, rather than something that ruins & ultimately ends lives very prematurely.

        I can remember before McDonalds was even in Margate & there weren’t many junk food places around(it was an occasional treat rather than people practically living in there) that you rarely saw obese people-they were the minority & yes it was seen as something shameful, as these junk food joints opened in huge numbers everywhere, the rise of high calorie, sugar laden coffee places & the rise of ready meals we saw rapidly expanding waistlines to where now being obese is seen as normal & now something people can exploit to make money from on social media or television. How did we get to where a show like My 600 Pound Life even exists?

        I have been overweight & obese in my life & I was eventually ashamed & disgusted with myself, you should damn well be ashamed if you weigh 25 stone. Your doctor & society should not have to be woke & pander around you when you go in moaning of health problems yet call them fatphobic(fat is scary & it is logical to fear it so another nonsense term) take up nearly 2 bus, train or airline seats, squashing the regular person into half a seat, but only pay for one-fat privilege? Or we have to put up with the smell of your bacteria ridden flab folds in confined spaces that you cannot clean properly. Or that regular fit clothes are now tent size because that is not the ‘regular’ fit. This is total insanity.

    • Let’s all be educated about this shit. Nature has had enough of the human race. Pay back time. After all we are all a bunch wankers. Destroyed our lovely planet…..

        • Well said Peter. No need to resort to foul language.

          Regarding those over weight, earlier this year, I had a minor stroke and weighed in at 19 stone due to eating habits and life style. This condition left me with slight sight damage to one eye only and I was very lucky. I was advised to lose weight having been warned that a further stroke could occur unless I changed. Cut out chocolate, cheese, nibbling etc and now 17 stone 3 pounds.with target of 16 stone.Will power and a warning were sufficient. Not only do I feel better but I know I will be less of a burden on NHS.

          • “FedupB”, well done on your change of lifestyle. I’m sure you already feel better.

            While we can all improve our odds, sometimes poor health is just bad luck. I’ve always stayed slim, never smoked or taken drugs, ate healthily and been a very active cyclist and walker, but 2 years ago I had a heart attack at 55, requiring emergency surgery and a stent. Fortunately, after months of cardio rehab, I’m back running up stairs and cycling around Thanet.

    • If i’m not mistaken covid has been with us since march and it was soon obvious that those with excess weight suffered more. So say 6 months to do something about it, plenty of time to improve peoples ability to resist covid, especially if a little extra fitness is also gained ( no need to be an athlete just the ability to climb a couple of flights of stairs comfortably)
      We have endless posts about the lack of masks , social distancing etc etc calling it irresponsible and a danger to others. Just because i feel that those that are overweight ,are burdening the health service and effectively depriving those needing nhs services that have been put on hold, are similarly irresponsible and place a burden upon society. Not sure why that would be self righteous, as i said in aprevious post be any size you like but be prepared to accept it has consequences both personally and to wider society.
      Covid kills very few healthy people, it hits the elderly as they have the most issues and least resilience. Had Boris been in the “normal” weight range he’d have likely barely been bothered by it.
      Find some front line health professionals who are prepared to speak openly about the patients they treat. In the second wave body builders who’ve used / abused steroids have also been adversely affected disproportionately.
      Having a country full of the fat and unfit is going to kill many more people who’ve been unable to access the nhs in full.
      In respect of food, by all means eat cheap food , in itself it doesn’t make you fat, its a simple equation in 99z plus of people that an intake of calories in excess of what you use will make you larger.
      A small pizza and a coke will provide many people with the calories they “need” the desire to eat a large pizza will result in most in excess weight, even then as an occasional blowout it would do little harm.
      Show me the the cost of the calorie intake many people spend and i’ll pretty much guarantee i can put a decent menu together for the same cost or less , assuming of course they’re prepared to do a bit of cooking.
      There’s a problem the nation needs to address in terms of its relationship with food, exercise and its “wants”. The population has grown hugely larger in the last 50 years and the trend shows no indication of slowing how much does a nation need to spend looking after those with no self control? Its got nothing to do with fat shaming , thats purely a term created to stifle sensible debate.

      • On a £ for £ basis yes, on a calorie content per pound no, but then thats the issue. If you want food that is full of fat, salt, sugar etc and 1000 calories its literally as cheap as chips, want the same 1000 calories from fresh veg it might cost more than the chips, but seeing as people consume more calories than thay need and so spend more, then the expenditure is almost certainly sufficient to buy sensible portion sizes of healthy food.

        There are many in society for whom junk food take aways, large everything , soft / energy drinks, sugary snacks ,processed food , cigarettes and alcohol are the everyday norm.
        Personally i like the idea that my food has been prepared rather than processed.

    • Healthier food is of a comparative price, you can even find so called wonky or imperfect fruit & vegetables in most supermarkets now that is cheaper-it is just an excuse.

      This is far beyond Covid-obesity is a major killer & life destroyer leading to a variety of illnesses, inability to fight off everything from the common cold upward, amputations & greatly increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes & multiple cancers & you shouldn’t just be deciding to lose weight whenever a pandemic hits-because in reality dropping dead of a heart attack is a far bigger reality for obese individuals than Covid. Having said that just do a search for NHS staff who have died from it & you will see a range of ages, races & sexes-but the one thing the vast majority have in common is obesity.

  5. So if Thanet is a hotspot, and has a large vulnerable population of eldery, why is Ashford the nearest vaccination center?

    • It’s not.
      It’s the nearest hub, where supplies of vaccine are kept at -70 C, before being distributed to local hospitals, care homes and (if they can get the logistics sorted out) GP practices and pharmacists.

  6. Most pandemics come from humans keeping animals in captivity. We can’t blame China as we do this ourselves. Look at all the Mink that were culled in Denmark. Using animals as products in close proximity is bad for nature and bad for humans. Think about that when tucking into your turkey this Christmas. Treating any animal in this way has got to become history and not our future. The vaccine is only a sticking plaster not the reason why!

  7. I noticed they only announced the practice in Broadstairs why don’t they let the public know about the other practices. That part of Broadstairs is deemed to be affluent. What about central Margate where a lot of people have long time illnesses. The most central would be the limes medical centre as it’s easily reached by people who do not have cars. This area should come first.

  8. Over 10,000 actually caught the virus while in hospital according to a recent study based on NHS stats. There is over a 99.7% survival rate. Most deaths have comorbidities, and the average age death rate for the virus is higher than the average death rate. PCR testing also produces many false positives and was ruled useless in a recent court case in Portugal. The creator of the PCR test actually said it shouldn’t be used in this way. There is no perspective in the reporting and the aim seems to be for fear control, while local businesses will be destroyed and the mental health of many, includiing children, will suffer long term damage. Let’s have an article on that.

    • How about an article explaining what the Government would gain through ‘fear control’, crashing the economy and damaging health. So many people bang on about this and yet won’t abide by simple rules set out by the Government that will get us back on track.

    • It would be interesting to find out how many were infected needlessly by the NHS-they mismanaged it so badly in many areas that if anybody had a raised temperature then protocol was to stick them on a Covid ward. This is why nobody should be clapping for them, or trust their insistence you get injected.

      Isn’t it just endemic of the general public’s lack of intellect that just before Covid hit people were calling the NHS East Kent Trust the devil for their killing babies at their maternity wards & then these people stand outside their houses clapping at the air for them in a huge display of virtue signalling? But if the media tell you to do something, or some two bit illiterate, vacuous ‘celebrity’ tells you to do something then the sheep do it without question.

  9. There is not a 99.7% survival rate. You’re quoting the figures based on the number of deaths compared with the total population.
    The death rate for those infected is about 3.5%. Extrapolated over the UK population that represents a death toll of over 2,250,000 people if there is no intervention.
    The actuality is that a lethal pandemic is sweeping the world, and without intervention there will be countless hundreds of millions of deaths world wide, and many times that number of people suffering the debilitating effects of long covid.
    When the Titanic struck an iceberg and began to sink, I dare say that takings in the saloons, bars and casinos took a dip. But that’s no reason not to get in the lifeboats.

    • Sorry your figures are again skewed towards the covid narrative. Your figures assume that every infection has been accounted for, whereas its obvious that there are far more people who have been infected but never tested ( many of whom will never know they had it.
      In the first wave there was very little testing but there must have been millions of infections. For example if overall cases were 10x the number of positive test results then the fatality rate you quote instantly falls to 0.35% which neatly brings us back to the 99.7% survival rate.
      The whole lies, dam lies and statistics debate. Nothing is being compared on a like for like basis and so none of the statistics are relevant other than the the number of daily deaths ( though this number is farcical given the definition changes over the course of the pandemic) yet far fewer are dying than in march april despite the alledged huge number of additional infections.
      The whole thing is becoming farcical but whilst people are happy to believe the latest news without question we’ll keep blundering on blindly.
      Yes the virus is dangerous to a very small portion of the population , we should be putting the efforts iinto looking after them , the rest of us are quite capable of living pretty normally.

    • This is ridiculous Andrew-this thing has been in circulation for a year plus now & 1.5 million people have died & this includes large swathes of the world with little to no sanitation or healthcare. Yes, a lot more people would have died without interventions we have done, however there would be a lot less died of the world governments hadn’t sat on their behinds for months & started worrying about it in March.

      Clearly if this is as expected not going to be a massive problem for at least western countires from 2022, then hundreds of millions are not going to die if 1.5 million have died in a year plus & on top of that we now have effective drugs to treat it & a slew of vaccines that hopefully will slow it down even more than the lockdowns.

      I would ask you how many people have died or suffered because everything has been focused on Covid since March & people’s cancer treatments were halted, scans to detect cancers etc have been halted, the NHS as a result now has a massive backlog to work thorugh, how many people have coped at home having suffered heart attacks, strokes etc rather than go to hospital for fear of catching Covid due to the NHS & media hysteria?

      The NHS that for instance sat on 122 million quids worth of gowns that they kept bleating they were short of as part of the ‘PPE Shortage’ wonder which government minister has ties to those that set up this company? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55275597

  10. What “fear control”? The fear felt by people who don’t bother to self-isolate? The fear felt by people who go abroad on holiday?

    • No , i used a figure plucked to suit my narrative, but you can no more disprove it than i can. How do you explain the so called explosion in recorded cases this time round but there not being a similarly multiple increase in hospital admissions and fatalities? The only sensible explanation is that the second wave is not as bad as the first and that there must have been far more infected people out and about in march april than now. That we have to do mass testing with statistically and medically flawed tests (not that i dispute they give a result of sorts) to come up with the numbers we have now is just daft.
      No real statistian would put their name to direct comparison of numbers today with those in april. Have a look at the worldometers site and look at the patterns regarding testing, positive results, hospital admissions and fatalities over the course of the “panic flu”.

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