MORE than 90 people who contracted Covid-19 in Hampshire hospitals at the start of the pandemic were killed by the virus, it has been revealed.

A total of 313 patients are believed to have contracted coronavirus in hospitals in Southampton, Winchester and Basingstoke while being there for other reasons between March 2020 and January 2021.

Of those, 93 died with Covid-19 on their death certificate.

Data from a Freedom of Information Act request refers to the so-called “definite hospital acquired Covid”  – infections acquired 15 or more days after hospital admission.

According to the data, between March 2020 and January 2021 University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) recorded 119 cases of “definite hospital acquired Covid”. Of those 119 patients, 38 died with Covid -19 listed on their death certificate.

It comes as between March last year and January this year the trust had a total of 2,028 Covid positive inpatients.

Over the same period of time, there were 114 cases of  “definite hospital acquired Covid-19” at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and 80 at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. Of those 194 patients at both hospitals, the number of those who died with Covid-19 on their death certificate was 31 in Basingstoke and 24 in Winchester.

Harry Dymond, chairman of Healthwatch Southampton, said: “Healthwatch Southampton was extremely concerned when these figures were published, and our thoughts are with the families of those involved. 

“To put this into context, we must realise that the pandemic was an unprecedented challenge to the NHS in general. We understand that infection control measures are now even more vigorous.”

A spokesperson for University Hospital Southampton said: “Southampton and the wider community served by UHS, experienced very high levels of community infection with COVID-19. As one of the largest hospital trusts in England, we admitted high numbers of patients with the virus. In early 2021 those numbers rose, with the arrival of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“In spite of this, thanks to our stringent infection prevention measures and the relentless hard work of our staff, our clinical outcomes and survival rates remain among the best in the country.”

Hampshire Hospitals Trust said each case is taken “very seriously” and rigorously investigated.