Homerton Hospital is busy but not overwhelmed with flu patients

As levels of seasonal flu continue to increase across the UK, Hackney’s Homerton Hospital is busy - but coping.

Elective surgery continues as normal at the hospital in Homerton Row, and visitors are not being restricted – precautionary measures other hospitals have introduced.

There are four confirmed H1N1 cases, with one patient in the intensive care unit, and three on medical wards, with a further six suspected influenza-like illness cases.

The nine bed intensive care unit (ITU) is full, but the hospital has not had to enact its ITU escalation plan as currently no patients require ventilation outside ITU.

A third of the hospital’s side rooms are available should the need arise to isolate patients.

Influenza A H1N1, otherwise known as swine flu, is one of the two main strains of flu circulating and is causing the majority of cases.

Certain groups are at higher risk of developing complications from swine flu including all pregnant women, the elderly and those with health problems such as chronic respiratory disease, asthma, chronic renal disease, chronic neurological disease, chronic heart disease, chronic liver disease, immunosuppression, diabetes requiring insulin or other drugs, and those with neurological motor or cognitive disabilities.

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So far 39 people in the UK have died with flu since the start of the outbreak in October.

Overall, 38 of the 39 victims were aged under 65, with four aged under five.