Six in 10 hospital trusts have more Covid-19 patients than first-wave peak

More than half of all major hospital trusts in England currently have more Covid-19 patients than at the peak of the first wave of the virus, new analysis shows.

In two regions – eastern England and south-east England – more than three-quarters of trusts are above their first-wave peak.

Other trusts have seen their numbers rise so rapidly that they could pass their first-wave peak within days.

Hospital ward with Covid patients
More than half of all major hospital trusts in England currently have more Covid-19 patients than at the peak of the first wave, analysis shows (PA)

The analysis by the PA news agency found that of 139 acute hospital trusts who reported figures for January 5, 84 – or 60% – had more Covid-19 patients than at the peak of the first wave in spring 2020.

Examples include:

East Suffolk & North Essex, which had 367 confirmed Covid-19 patients as of 8am on January 5, compared with a first-wave peak of 143.

Barts in London, where there were 830 Covid-19 patients on January 5 compared with a first-wave peak of 606.

Portsmouth Hospitals University, which had 457 patients compared with a first-wave peak of 244.

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, which had 426 patients versus a first-wave peak of 252.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals, where the number stood at 208 on January 5 compared with a first-wave peak of 112.

HEALTH Coronavirus Hospitals
(PA graphic)

A majority of acute trusts in London – 14 out of 23 – are currently recording patient levels higher than at the peak of the first wave.

The same is true for south-west England (11 out of 15) and the Midlands (16 out of 23).

The proportion is even higher in south-east England (15 out of 18) and eastern England (13 out of 14).

In northern England most trusts are still below their first-wave peak, however.

Some trusts in northern areas saw numbers hit a record high in the autumn then fall back before Christmas, only to start rising again more recently.

An example is Liverpool University Hospitals Trust, which saw a peak of 475 patients on October 30, followed by a drop to 112 by December 13, but where the number now stands at 248.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA graphic)

Acute trusts manage all the major hospitals in England with A&E departments, inpatient and outpatient surgery, and specialist medical care.

The total number of Covid-19 patients in all hospitals in England – including mental health and community trusts – currently stands at 28,246. This is 49% above the first wave peak of 18,974 on April 12.

All figures are based on the latest available data from NHS England.

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