How busy is my hospital? NHS facing ‘most precarious time ever’ as staff aim to free up beds for Omicron surge

Almost 30 NHS trusts were busier than what is usually considered a ‘safe’ limit on every day during the last week.

<p>Some English hospital trusts recorded upwards of 95% of their beds as occupied on average in the week to Boxing Day - far higher than the 85% normally considered a safe limit.</p>

Some English hospital trusts recorded upwards of 95% of their beds as occupied on average in the week to Boxing Day - far higher than the 85% normally considered a safe limit.

Hospitals across England were potentially dangerously busy over Christmas despite a significant drop in patient numbers.

NationalWorld revealed on Friday (31 December) how NHS trusts in England are recording bed occupancy levels higher than 85%, which is generally considered a safe limit.

More than two-thirds of trusts had an average daily occupancy above this limit in the week to 26 December, while nine out of 10 breached the threshold on at least one occasion.

Some hospitals – almost half – recorded occupancy rates above 95% at some point.

That is despite concerted efforts by staff to free up more beds and get patients home ahead of an anticipated influx of people seriously ill with Omicron, which has caused a surge in Covid cases across the UK.

The number of patients in hospital dropped significantly, particularly over Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but average daily occupancy for the week to 26 December remained at 87.4%.

Our interactive table reveals the average occupancy rate at each acute hospital trust in England, and on how many days each trust breached the 85% threshold over Christmas.

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Which hospitals faced the greatest pressure?

Average occupancy was highest in the South West at 91% compared to a low of 84.6% in the North East and Yorkshire.

The trust with the highest average occupancy was at the Northampton General Hospital Trust, where it was 97.4%.

That was followed by Croydon Health Services Trust at 97.1%, and Whittington Health Trust at 96.6%, both in London.

Almost 30 trusts recorded above 85% occupancy on every day of the week – three in the East of England, eight in London, three in the Midlands, two in the North East and Yorkshire, two in the North West, three in the South East and six in the South West.

You can click on the column in the table called ‘number of days above 85%’ to sort the trusts by the highest number of days spent above 85%.

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