As winter approaches, Ipswich Hospital's head nurse has issued a reminder about measures to contain the spread following an increase in positive Covid cases at the start of September. 

As of the morning of Wednesday, September 13, the hospital had 43 patients who had tested positive for Covid.  

Those patients may not necessarily be treated for Covid and may have other conditions that require hospital care. 

In August 2023, there were 15 confirmed cases of Covid at Ipswich Hospital.  In August 2022, there were 34 patients confirmed to have Covid.

A spokesperson for Ipswich Hospital said it should be noted that this is just a snapshot of a particular moment in time, and the figure can change regularly as patients are admitted and discharged.  

Ipswich Hospital has not reopened its Covid ward but staff care for Covid-positive patients in side rooms where possible or in ward bays with other positive patients, where they use appropriate infection control measures in line with national guidance and increased PPE wearing. 

Emma Sweeney, chief nurse at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Ipswich Hospital, said: "Our priority is to keep everyone safe in our hospitals.  

Ipswich Star: Emma Sweeney, chief nurse at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, NewsquestEmma Sweeney, chief nurse at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

"We know cases of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, rise during the winter months, and our clinicians are very experienced in managing this, but we encourage everyone to help us reduce the spread by washing their hands regularly when in our hospitals and not coming to visit loved ones if they are unwell." 

At the beginning of this week, 60 dates, times and locations for upcoming walk-in clinics were published on the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System website.  

These include venues in Mildenhall, Sudbury, Clare, Long Melford, Haverhill, Ipswich, Kesgrave and Bury St Edmunds.  

From next Monday, these groups will also be able to book their boosters through the NHS website, the NHS App or by calling 119. 

Those eligible for a booster vaccine include:   

  • Residents in a care home for older adults  
  • Adults aged 65 years and over  
  • People aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group  
  • People aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression  
  • People aged 16 to 64 years who are carers and staff working in care homes for older adults.  
  • Frontline health and social care workers 

To view the list of walk-in clinics, click here.

This news comes days after it was revealed that there had been a major outbreak of a new Covid variant detected in Shipdham Manor care home in Norfolk.