MORE than three quarters of coronavirus patients in Oxfordshire's hospitals survived during the first wave of infections, new figures show.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH)'s chief medical officer Professor Meghana Pandit said she was 'very proud' of staff and many lives had been saved due to the 'resilience, determination, and expertise' of the team.

The trust, which runs the John Radcliffe Hospital, in its annual 'learning from deaths' report revealed there were 205 inpatient deaths reported at OUH involving Covid-19 between March 16 and August 1.

It gives the trust, which runs the John Radcliffe Hospital, an overall death rate of 23 per cent.

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By comparison, a report by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre covering to July 30, showed of Covid-19 patients nationally requiring critical care 38.7 per cent died there, with a further 4.7 per cent dying after being discharged back into the general hospital.

The death toll is higher than the official NHS England total for the trust, which is currently 182, and the report explained the term ‘involving Covid-19’ referred to deaths that had coronavirus mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause or not.

It gives the trust an overall Covid-19 survival rate of 77 per cent, with the last death recorded at the trust on July 4.

Among those who made a recovery at the trust was artist Jenny Eadon, who spent 11 weeks ICU and was applauded by staff as she finally left to continue her recovery at Abingdon Community Hospital.

Jenny Eadon painting, with inset of her been clapped out of ICU

Speaking in July, her husband John Melrose, said: "What staff did and are doing for Jenny is beyond words.

"We are so grateful for their high skill, pulling her back from death’s door on several occasions and keeping me fully informed throughout."

Dr Chris Gough, who works in critical care at the trust, tweeted last month the outcome for those most severely impacted by coronavirus was also better than average.

He wrote: "Patients with #COVID19 who required ventilation @OUH_CritCare had a 75 per cent survival rate (compared with 52 per cent nationally - despite similar admission data and sickness severity scores)."

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This was also based on a report by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre, which looked at national outcomes for intensive care patients who received mechanical ventilation in the first 24 hours.

A report by the Guardian in July, based on unpublished NHS England data, also suggested OUH was doing better many the majority of trusts at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic.

It showed there was huge variation in hospital trusts with just 26 of 135 trusts having a death rate between 12.5 per cent and 25 per cent.

Banbury Cake:

Professor Meghana Pandit

Professor Pandit said: “Many lives have been saved due to the resilience, determination, and expertise of OUH staff, as they continue to work well as an integrated team, with the shared purpose of providing safe, compassionate, patient-centred care.

“I am so very proud of this group of amazingly strong, caring people who have looked after our patients during an exceptionally difficult time.

“In addition, other departments across the trust have helped our frontline staff, and people have performed roles during the Covid-19 pandemic completely outside the normal clinical sphere, which has been inspiring to see.

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"We could not have looked after these patients the way we have without our dedicated staff. I am very proud of the work our teams have done and continue to do."

She added another aspect of Oxford's success could be linked to its role at the cutting edge in pioneering new treatments for coronavirus, saying: “It should not be forgotten that Oxford scientists and clinicians have been leading a number of national priority research trials, such as the [ Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 Therapy] RECOVERY trial, which has found cheap and effective treatments for Covid-19 patients.

"We’d like to thank OUH patients who have agreed to take part in the many important studies that are taking place here."

One such patient was Oxford University bursar Dr Tim Clayden who became ill in March and ended up spending his 60th birthday at the John Radcliffe.

Dr Tim Clayden at the John Radcliffe

He was asked to take part in research and said he agreed thinking 'let’s make some positives out of misery', being put on antibiotic azithromycin as part of Oxford University’s RECOVERY trial.

With covid cases rising nationally, Professor Pandit said the 'hard work continues' at OUH adding: "We are working with our health and social care colleagues across the Oxfordshire system once again this year to prepare for winter pressures to make sure that people receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

“These plans incorporate the impact and effects of Covid-19, and we will continue to work collaboratively to manage this.”