Covid hospital patients rising in 10 hotspots despite strong effect of vaccines


Hospitals in Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and London were treating the highest numbers of Covid patients last week, with trusts in Sussex, Bedfordshire and Lincolnshire among those recording increases

Ten of England's 20 worst hit NHS trusts saw a month-on-month rise in Covid patients
A total of 10 of England’s 20 worst hit NHS trusts saw a month-on-month rise in Covid patients

Ten of England’s worst-hit NHS trusts saw a rise in beds occupied by Covid patients in a month, latest NHS figures show.

Hospitals in Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and London were treating the highest number last week, with trusts in Sussex, Bedfordshire and Lincolnshire among those recording increases.

But stark figures show the huge difference the vaccine rollout and booster jabs are having on hospitalisations with the virus.

A year ago, as the Delta variant started to rip through the country, there were three times as many patients in hospital with the virus, NHS data reveals.

And the number of people occupying beds in NHS hospitals in England remained stable between late October and last week.

On Tuesday last week there were 4,116 people in hospital with coronavirus, a slight fall from 4,156 a month earlier.

But it is a massive fall on the 14,712 being treated in England on the same day last year.

Hospitalisations have remained relatively steady in recent weeks, NHS data shows

Medics have warned that the UK faces a difficult winter, with Covid infections again on the rise and scientists anxiously assessing whether the Omicron variant can evade vaccines.

In the past week more than 305,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus, while there are at least nine cases of the mutant strain, which prompted PM Boris Johnson to once again tighten restrictions.

On Tuesday last week the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust was treating 160 Covid patients – a sharp drop from 206 a month earlier.

The Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust also saw a significant fall in hospitalised Covid patients.

But the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust saw the number being treated shoot up from 48 to 82 between October 23 and November 23.

England’s 20 NHS trusts with the highest number of Covid patients, compared to a month earlier

  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust – 160, down from 206 a month earlier
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – 132, up from 122 a month earlier
  • Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust – 123, down from 159 a month earlier
  • Barts Health NHS Trust – 113, down from 125 a month earlier
  • Northern Care Alliance – 110, down from 112 a month earlier
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust – 109, down from 110 a month earlier
  • Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – 104, down from 110 a month earlier
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust – 103, down from 109 a month earlier
  • Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust – 93, down from 106 a month earlier
  • North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust – 91, up from 78 a month earlier
  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust – 91, up from 90 a month earlier
  • South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust – 85, up from 75 a month earlier
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (London) – 83, down from 95 a month earlier
  • London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust – 82, up from 73 a month earlier
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust – 82, up from 48 a month earlier
  • Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – 78, up from 69 a month earlier
  • University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust – 78, up from 55 a month earlier
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust – 76, up from 67 a month earlier
  • King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – 75, up from 67 a month earlier
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – 75, down from 120 a month earlier

Several hotspots recorded a fall in the number of Covid patients (file image)
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Image:

Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Midlands, the North East and the North West all saw the number of patients drop in the past month.

But The South East, East of England and South West all recorded a slight rise during that period, the latest data shows.

How the number of hospitalised Covid patients changed in each region

  • England – 4,116, down from 4,156 a month earlier
  • Midlands – 740, down from 818 a month earlier
  • North East and Yorkshire – 945, down from 1,116 a month earlier
  • London – 665, up from 610 a month earlier
  • North West – 554, down from 612 a month earlier
  • South East – 775, up from 678 a month earlier
  • East of England – 425, up from 386 a month earlier
  • South West – 592, up from 548 a month earlier

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Saturday, England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said all the data showed vaccines and boosters have been effective.

And he said that the jab programme is the country’s best hope in avoiding another dismal Christmas with families kept apart.

Prof Whitty said: “If I can make one Christmas plea?

“It would be that when people raise their glasses this Christmas, they do so to the extraordinary scientists who produce the vaccines, the diagnostics, the drugs which will allow this Christmas, if possible, to be in a very different place to what it would have been without them.”

Prof Chris Whitty said vaccines are the country’s best hope of a better Christmas this year
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Image:

Getty Images)

One year before the latest figures, on November 23, 2020, the number of Covid patients in each region were:

  • England – 14,712
  • East of England – 956
  • London – 1,675
  • Midlands – 3,414
  • North East and Yorkshire – 3,437
  • North West – 2,810
  • South East – 1,395
  • South West – 1,025

Existing Covid-19 vaccines should be highly effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalisation from the newly identified Omicron variant, a top South African infectious disease expert said this morning.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, who served as the government’s chief adviser during the initial response to the pandemic, also said it was too early to say whether Omicron led to more severe clinical symptoms than previous variants.

However, he said it did appear more contagious and more likely to infect people with immunity from vaccination or prior infection, and he was expecting it to drive new daily infections in the country above 10,000 before the end of the week, from 2,858 on Sunday.

“Based on what we know and how the other variants of concern have reacted to vaccine immunity, we can expect that we will still see high effectiveness for hospitalisation and severe disease, and that protection of the vaccines is likely to remain strong,” Abdool Karim told a news conference.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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