FRONTLINE NHS workers have been praised after a local hospital revealed it had no Covid patients in its ICU for the first time since October.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron praised the ‘amazing care’ provided by front line workers after the Royal Lancaster Infirmary reported on Saturday that its ICU was Covid free.

And Dr Shahedal Bari, medical director at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust said the news was down to the efforts of the public and NHS staff.

In a tweet a hospital spokesman from critical care said on Saturday: “Today ICU is COVID free for the first time since last October.

“It has been a hugely challenging six months, and our hearts go out to all our patients and their families who have been affected by COVID.”

Mr Farron has encouraged the public to continue following Covid guidance to ensure ICUs stay Covid free.

“This is a really important moment to reflect on the enormous pressure that those working on the front line of our local NHS have been under,” he said.

“And also the amazing care they’ve provided for our loved ones at their time of need.

“There’s two things we could do to say thank you to front line staff.

“Firstly we can and we should give them a pay rise.

“And secondly we should all keep following the guidance so that the ICU stays empty.”

Dr Bari said: “It is testament to both the tireless work and dedication of our staff.

“And the significant efforts and support from our communities who complied with social distancing and took up their vaccination appointments when they were offered them, that we are starting to see the numbers of patients with COVID-19 in intensive care in our hospitals falling in line with the rest of the country.

“While we continue to treat patients without COVID-19 in those units, the reduction in patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals means those facilities can be used to support the restoration of surgical services across Morecambe Bay to the benefit of our patients awaiting surgery.”

Most recent government figures show that between April 19 and April 25, two people went into a UHMBT hospital with coronavirus, a decrease of -75 per cent compared to the previous seven days.

There was one coronavirus patient in hospital beds with a mechanical ventilator on April 27.