The number of Covid-19 patients at Derby and Burton’s hospital trust is continuing to rise.
There are currently 300 patients with the the disease at the Royal Derby Hospital and Queen’s Hospital in Burton – up from 250 last week.
This continues to be a higher number than the peak in the first wave of the pandemic in early April.
It comes as a concerned member of staff at the Royal Derby Hospital said that up to 19 ambulances were queuing to drop-off patients at one point on Wednesday morning.
They suggested that this was usually a sign that A & E at the hospital was full and that in turn this was a sign that the hospital was near capacity.
But a spokesman for the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust played down the presence of the ambulances.
He said: “That’s a relatively normal position with regards to ambulances for Royal Derby Hospital given the size of the hospital and time of year.
Subscribe to the Derby Telegraph
To help make sure you can continue to stay up-to-date with all your local news during the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve got a special offer to help you get your Derby Telegraph delivered straight to the door – and save 40% off the cost.
To sign up just follow this link and enter your details.
“People should still attend if they have an appointment or require emergency or life-threatening treatment. We are not currently at our highest operating level.
“We will pro-actively announce if there is a change to this situation.”
The increase in Covid patients at the trust came as Derby, Derbyshire and Staffordshire were placed in higher Tier 4 restrictions because of the growth in cases locally and nationally.
The new variant strain of the disease has been blamed for the rapid increase in cases and has also led to the Government announcing that all secondary pupils will not be back in school until the week beginning January 18.
It has said that key worker children and vulnerable children can return to school next week and schools should use the week to prepare for mass testing of schools and staff. Exam year groups will return from January 11.
It is reported the new strain is responsible for the huge increase in cases in those regions, which has led to countries across Europe banning air travel to the UK, while France has closed its border to traffic from Great Britain.
Derbyshire Live has approached the East Midlands Ambulance Service about the number of ambulances present at the hospital and waiting times.