STOCKTON North MP, Alex Cunningham, has thanked local people for doing the right thing during the lockdown, after it emerged that the number of Covid-19 patients at North Tees Hospital has seen a significant drop.

However, the NHS trust has said 'while overall figures are reducing, the number of seriously ill patients is not'.

In January 2021 it was reported that North Tees Hospital was at capacity with 40 per cent of beds being used by Covid-19 patients – and some operating theatres were being used for intensive care patients. This led to Mr Cunningham writing an open letter to his Stockton North constituents, setting out the picture at North Tees Hospital and reiterating the need for people to stay at home if they can.

Now, in a follow-up call with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust NHS Chief Executive, Julie Gillon, Mr Cunningham heard how the hospital is seeing its Covid-19 patient numbers drop and is back to normal capacity in its ITU centre.

A spokesperson for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, said: "Currently we have 111 patients with Covid-19 in the Trust, with 13 new admissions in the last 24 hours. Our intensive care unit has 18 patients on the ward, meaning we are at full capacity. While overall figures are reducing, our numbers of seriously ill patients is not.

“We urge everyone to stick to the lockdown and to accept their vaccine appointment as soon as it is offered.”