THE trust that runs Leighton Hospital is reporting its highest number of coronavirus patients since the pandemic began.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says it was caring for 203 Covid patients at 8am on January 12 in the latest figures available from NHS England.

It is the second day in a row that the trust reported caring for more than 200 coronavirus patients, with a count of 201 at the same time on January 11.

The number is almost twice the peak Mid Cheshire Hospitals experienced during the first wave of the pandemic last spring.

At that time, the trust was busiest with Covid patients on May 3, when there were 103.

The number of Covid patients being cared for by Leighton Hospital’s trust has surged in the past few weeks – having stood at 106 on December 28 compared to 203 on January 12.

Fourteen of the trust’s Covid patients on January 12 were on mechanical ventilation, and 20 of the patients were new admissions.

Meanwhile, 371 of Mid Cheshire Hospitals’ Covid patients have now sadly died, with the trust reporting 11 further deaths over the weekend.