Technical glitch creates coronavirus report ‘death spike’ at Bedford Hospital

Bedford Hospital entrance

A technical glitch has created a false ‘death spike’ in coronavirus related figures published yesterday (Tuesday) at Bedford Hospital.

It was reported yesterday that the highest number of patients had died in hospitals within our region on a single day since the beginning of June.

Throughout the East of England, 24 deaths were reported, with 11 of them being recorded at Bedford Hospital.

However, due to a technical glitch in the reporting system, the last time any deaths were reported for Bedford Hospital was 19 June.

As a result, the 11 deaths over the last 11 days at the hospital – similar statistics to other hospitals in the region – have all been recorded as occurring yesterday.

A spokesperson at Bedford Hospital said, “It is incredibly important to clarify that the recent reporting on 1 July of 11 deaths at Bedford Hospital… over a 1-2 days period was down to a technical error and not because of a significant spike in numbers of deaths.”

It’s not unusual for the NHS website to have a delay in its reporting, as a positive result for coronavirus (COVID-19) may occur days after confirmation of death.

Cases are also only included in the NHS data when the positive COVID-19 test result is received, or death certificate confirmed with COVID-19 mentioned.

“This results in a lag between a given date of death and exhaustive daily death figures for that day,” explains the NHS website.

However, the recent technical glitch meant the lag was far longer than normal, which led to a high number being reported over one or two days.

As has been widely reported, Bedford has the highest infection rate in the region and the fifth highest in the country.

Until more detailed data is received by the local authority, residents are advised to stay at home where possible, to continue to observe 2m social distancing and to where a mask when going shopping.

The total number of coronavirus-related deaths at Bedford Hospital is now 212.

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