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New Covid map shows how badly Lancs could be hit by a second wave

Written by on July 7, 2020

Lancashire’s future potential coronavirus hot spots have been identified through a new Covid-19 map.

Experts from Oxford University’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science have created the map showing ‘potential future Covid-19 virus hot spots’ if coronavirus returns in a second wave.

Researchers have identified at-risk regions based on the number of vulnerable people and available hospital resources to handle outbreaks.

The map reveals localised ‘pressure points’ across Lancashire where demand for health services is likely to topple the baseline local supply.

It factors in potential Covid-19 risks such as age, social deprivation, ethnicity, hospital resources, and population density.

The map indicates that Lancashire is overall a medium risk area but with some high risk localised areas.

Hospital bed demand is expected to increase by 5.6 per 1,000 people in general care and 2.6 in acute care.

Across the whole of Lancashire, the county expected to have 8.2 hospitalisations per 1,000 people in general care, and 2.7 in acute care.

Acute care generally refers to physical illnesses and conditions which require diagnostic tests, treatment and follow-up care.

Fylde and Wyre is expected to fair the worst, with hospitalisations expected to be slightly more than 10 per 1,000 in general care, with 3.6 hospitalisations per 1,000 in acute care.

Overall the NHS areas of Morecambe Bay, Fylde and Wyre, Blackpool, and West Lancashire are above the medium risk when it comes to a second wave of Covid-19.

NHS Blackburn with Darwen has the lowest risk in Lancashire if there is a second wave, with 6.7 hospitalisations per 1,000 in general care and 2 hospitalisations per 1,000 in acute care

For comparison, neighbouring Greater Manchester is at less of risk with 7.1 hospitalisations per 1,000 people in general care and 2.2 hospitalisations per 1,000 people in acute care.

Merseyside also fairs better than Lancashire, with 7.9 hospitalisations per 1,000 people in general care and 2.6 hospitalisations per 1,000 people in acute care.

How every area of Lancashire could be affected in a second wave of coronavirus:

  • NHS Morecambe Bay: 9 hospitalisations per 1,000 in general care and 3.1 hospitalisations per 1,000 in acute care.
  • NHS East Lancashire: 8 hospitalisations per 1,000 in general care and 2.6 hospitalisations per 1,000 in acute care.
  • NHS Fylde and Wyre: 10.1 hospitalisations per 1,000 in general care and 3.6 hospitalisations per 1,000 in acute care.
  • NHS Blackpool: 8.4 hospitalisations per 1,000 in general care and 2.8 hospitalisations per 1,000 in acute care.
  • NHS Greater Preston: 7.5 hospitalisations per 1,000 in general care and 2,4 hospitalisations per 1,000 in acute care.
  • NHS Blackburn with Darwen: 6.7 hospitalisations per 1,000 in general care and 2 hospitalisations per 1,000 in acute care.
  • NHS Chorley and South Ribble: 8.2 hospitalisations per 1,000 in general care and 2.6 hospitalisations per 1,000 in acute care.
  • NHS West Lancashire: 8.6 hospitalisations per 1,000 in general care and 2.9 hospitalisations per 1,000 in acute care

Professor Melinda Mills, author and Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science says: “With additional outbreaks and second waves, thinking not only regionally, but at much smaller scale at the neighbourhood level will be the most effective approach to stifle and contain outbreaks, particularly when a lack of track and trace is in place.

“The tool can highlight vulnerable areas. It showed Harrow in London as a local area with an exceptionally high age-related risk of hospitalisations due to COVID-19.

“And this proved the case in practice with The Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow the first to call for a national emergency, due to a lack of capacity early on in the pandemic emergency.”