YORK Hospital leaders say the number of Covid patients remains "very low" and they are not yet seeing any rise in case numbers in the region lead to a rise in hospital admissions.

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is currently in a "positive position", chief executive Simon Morritt told a council of governors meeting.

And he said the hospitals are ahead of where they expected to be in their recovery plan so far.

He said: "You will see what's happening in the rest of the country around rising rates.

"We haven't yet seen significant rises, although there are some rises in the Selby area. But that isn't translating into hospital admissions so we are still in a positive position.

"The number of Covid patients in hospital has been very low numbers indeed but obviously we need to be vigilant."

But he said the number of people going to A&E is "astonishingly high" - particularly for children.

He said the number of children being brought to the emergency department is "the highest we have ever seen since we started recording".

"That's not a surprise because there's a latent health need and people are becoming more confident [about visiting hospital]," he said.

"It isn't a surprise or different to what other hospitals are seeing."

Dr Steven Holmberg said some families were bringing children to A&E when they would usually take them to their GP.

And the increase in adults and children attending the emergency department did not mean that more people were necessarily being admitted to hospital.

It is too early to say whether hospitals will see another sharp spike in Covid admissions as infections rise, a North Yorkshire NHS boss said at a separate meeting yesterday.

Amanda Bloor, from NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We will see the data in the next few weeks about the impact of the Delta variant on the number of patients requiring hospital treatment, and any impact in terms of death, but it is too early to say."

“All of our hospitals have surge plans in place to cope with any increased demand and they will flex accordingly, but hopefully with the continued success of the vaccination programme we will see lower levels of hospitalisations as we move forwards.”