21 April 2022

Three in five Covid-19 patients treated primarily for something else

21 April 2022

Three in five of all Covid-19 patients in hospital trusts in England are being treated primarily for something else, new figures show.

Of the 13,645 patients reported as having the virus on April 19, 8,211 (60%) were not being treated principally for Covid.

This is the highest proportion since these figures were first published in June 2021, and is up from 26% at the start of December.

In London the figure is as high as 74% of patients while in eastern England it has reached 69%.

(PA Graphics)

The Midlands is at 67%, but other regions are closer to 50%, including the North West (57%), North East and Yorkshire (53%) and the South East (also 53%).

South-west England has the lowest proportion, at 40%, according to NHS England figures.

All hospital patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 need to be treated separately from those who do not have the virus, regardless of whether they are in hospital primarily for Covid or not.

But the growing proportion of patients who are in hospital “with” Covid-19 rather than “for” Covid-19 shows how the current wave of the virus has not led to the same sort of pressure on critical care as in previous waves.

A total of 296 patients in all hospitals in England were in mechanical ventilation beds on April 19, compared with 773 at the start of December – and well below the 3,736 recorded at the peak of the second wave on January 24 2021.

Separate figures published by NHS England on Thursday show that average daily admissions to hospital of people testing positive for Covid-19 stood at 1,507 on April 19, down 21% week-on-week and the lowest number since March 14.

Admissions have fallen week-on-week in all regions.

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