PLANS to restore hospital appointments and treatment to 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels could be affected by a second virus spike, a health chief has said.

Steve Taylor, managing director of Bury & Rochdale Care Organisation, said there had been an increase in Covid admissions in the past fortnight.

Giving an update to Bury councillors on the Covid-19 situation he said  there was concern that admissions were ‘creeping up’.

He said: “On Monday in intensive care there was one patient at Bury, four in Oldham and  two in North Manchester.

“In general beds there are four Covid patients in Bury, 12 in Oldham, 11 in North Manchester and nine in our infectious disease department.

“There is concern that we are seeing this creep up at the  point the NHS is trying to get back as quick as possible to near normal  planned care.

“During Covid this was stepped down and there is now a backlog which needs to be worked through.”

Mr Taylor said that some patients had decided not to attend hospital appointments or treatment.

He said: “What the NHS is working on is how do we step up to previous levels with the restrictions that we now have in place and public behaviour.

“We have some patients declining to come into hospitals and want to put that off.

“The  plan is to get back to 90 per cent over the remainder of this year but there is potential of a further spike and winter pressures.”

Mr Taylor said that among the measures for the restoration of services being considered were  three session days for clinics and weekend working,

Mr Taylor was asked by Cllr  Stella Smith  to expand on how hospitals would deal with increased admission caused by a second spike.

Mr Taylor, said : “We are in unknown territory. The increase now  is very small but we’ve noticed it and there is a lag between an area showing an increase in Covid before that turns into hospital admissions.

“We’ve learned a lot since the  beginning of the pandemic so we have zoning in all areas of hospitals into positive areas, query areas and non-Covid areas so the plan we have is  around maintaining the levels of to make sure we keep them clean.

“Patients arriving for operations are tested.

“We don’t operate in isolation though and there is concern about care homes if they close to admissions.

“We have to discharge patients and if they are closing doors it’s a problem.

“We have used innovative approaches on this and earlier in the year used a local hotel to support discharges.”