More than three-quarters of all major hospital trusts in England are currently reporting fewer Covid-19 patients than at their second-wave peak, new analysis shows.
In some regions, such as eastern and south-east England, all but one trust has dropped below the level seen at the peak of the second wave of the virus.
The proportion of trusts still reporting a record number of Covid-19 patients is slightly higher in north-east and north-west England, however.
The analysis by the PA news agency found that of 140 acute hospital trusts which reported figures for January 26, 122 – or 87% – had fewer Covid-19 patients than at their second-wave peak.
– Mid & South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which reported 676 patients on January 26, down from a second-wave peak of 920 on January 8.
– Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, with 357 patients on January 26, down from a second-wave peak of 518 on January 11.
– East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, which had 297 patients on January 26, down from 460 on January 4.
– United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, with 148 patients on January 26, down from 253 on December 4.
Among those trusts still reporting a record number of Covid-19 patients are York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (215 patients), University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (185) and the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (165).
The findings are based on data published by NHS England.
For the purposes of the analysis, the second wave was taken to begin on November 1.
As of January 26, 13 of the 14 acute trusts in eastern England were below their second-wave peak, with 18 of 19 in south-east England and 14 of 15 in south-west England.
By contrast the figure for north-west England was 17 of 24, and for north-east England/Yorkshire it was 18 of 22.
For both London and the Midlands the figure was 21 of 23.
Across England as a whole, 30,333 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of 8am on January 28 – down 9% on the previous week, and the lowest total since January 9.