PRESSURE on hospitals in Cheshire West will not let up ‘before the end of the month’, according to the council’s Chief Executive.

Earlier this week, Dr Susan Gilby, Chief Executive of The Countess of Chester NHS Trust, revealed that 61 per cent of all beds in her hospital were occupied by Covid-19 patients.

Yesterday evening (Wednesday, January 13), Andrew Lewis told the borough’s Covid-19 outbreak board: “We described an alarming increase [in cases] in the borough. The other really big issue is alleviating some pressures on hospitals.

“There’s more pressure now than at any other time of the pandemic. The NHS is under pressure, it is a really difficult task and last week we heard from Dr Susan Gilby.

“If she was here tonight she would say that things continue to get worse before they get better.

“We do not expect that to improve, to get better, before the end of the month, given what we know of the infection rates.”

The meeting also heard an update on case figures from CWAC’s Director of Public Health Ian Ashworth.

He told members that although there had been a small fall in new cases over the past couple of days, there was still a cause for concern.

He said: “What we are seeing now is the impact of Tier 4. We are certainly not anywhere near the four-fold increase [seen in other parts of the north west] but this is to be expected.

“There are challenges being faced in the community which a couple of weeks from coming to hospitals. We are still seeing high rates of admission.”