Commenting on the NHS performance figures published today, NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said: “Today’s figures show pressure on the NHS remains high with almost 5,000 more patients in hospitals than this time last year, while Covid cases continue to increase.
“Despite this, NHS staff are working remarkably hard and we now have extra capacity in place – including beds and virtual wards – helping services to progress on the elective backlog even as they continued to deal with the impact of strikes.
“The NHS prepared extensively for winter, including rolling out 24/7 system control centres and falls services, and staff will build on that as part of our two-year delivery plan to recover urgent and emergency care services.
“So patients should continue to seek help when they need it, including using NHS 111 online for minor illnesses and calling 999 in a life-threatening emergency.”
As of week ending February 19, the number of patients with flu was down from 687 the previous week to 603. The same point last year had 27 patients in hospital.
As of week ending February 19, the NHS 111 answered 336,656 calls, down from 338,564 the week before.
The NHS winter plan committed to expanding the number of beds to help manage increased winter pressures.
Separate NHS data published today showed the number of patients waiting more than a year and a half for elective treatment reduced 27% from 54,382 on Jan 15, to 39,903 as of February 12.
The number of patients in hospital with Covid on February 22 was 8,015 – up from 7,209 (15th Feb) the week before.