Covid NHS pressure: 15 hospitals in England with the most beds taken up by coronavirus patients this Christmas

Thousands of hospital beds were occupied by Covid patients over the festive period.

Almost 10,000 hospital beds were occupied by Covid patients every day across England over Christmas, with some major hospitals seeing their numbers more than double in just one week, the latest health figures show.

In the seven days to 28 December there were 9,125 beds occupied each day on average with Covid patients across all NHS trusts, according to NHS England, representing an 18% increase on the previous week’s figures when 7,736 beds were occupied.

The analysis comes after Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, blamed high levels of flu, Covid and fears of Strep-A for the ongoing NHS crisis. But Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive of NHS Providers said staff shortages, lack of investment, a worn-out workforce and a backlog of operations are all contributing to the pressure, as well as the Covid and flu cases. The government has been urged to declare a national major incident.

A high number of Covid patients in hospital can pile pressure on the NHS and have knock-on effects, even if the patients are not there primarily because of the virus or are not critically ill.

In its latest infection survey report the Office for National Statistics found the percentage of people testing positive for Covid continued to increase in England.

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Regionally, hospitals in the Midlands had the greatest number of Covid patients (not accounting for the size of the population and number of hospital beds available) with 1,649, followed by the South East with 1,484 and North East and Yorkshire with 1,393. The South East also saw the greatest increase in Covid patients with the number of occupied beds surging by 31% in the past week.

Many patients were also severely ill with the virus. In the seven days to 28 December, 182 patients were on mechanical ventilation beds in England, while 206 adult patients were receiving critical care.

Here we reveal the 15 hospitals with the most beds occupied by Covid patients.

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