NHS weekly operational update for the week ending 26 March 2023

Commenting on this morning’s updated weekly sitrep figures, NHS national medical director, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, said: “Today’s figures show NHS staff remain under considerable pressure, with more than 19 in 20 beds occupied, including 13,000 each day taken up by patients who no longer meet the criteria to reside, despite almost 4,000 more beds being available for patients each day compared to the same week last year.

“Thousands of patients are still in hospital every day with winter viruses, including almost 8,000 patients with Covid, double the number of norovirus cases compared to this time last year, and we have worryingly seen the number of patients in intensive care with flu rise on the week before.

“However, despite this continued pressure and trusts starting to prepare for the expected impact of the upcoming bank holiday weekend and junior doctors’ strike, staff continue to go above and beyond in delivering care; treating nearly 80,000 patients who arrived in A&E by ambulance last week and answering more than 330,000 111 calls.

“Local teams are working hard to deliver on our urgent and emergency care recovery plan which set out how we plan to improve waiting times; to boost capacity with thousands more beds and hundreds of new ambulances; and to treat more people in the community. So please do continue to come forward for care using 999 in an emergency and 111 online for other conditions.”


In the week ending 26 March 2023:

  • The occupancy rate for adult general and acute beds was 95.2%.
  • The total number of general and acute beds open was 100,703, up from 96,977 the same week last year (w/e 27 March 2022).
  • An average of 13,300 people each day who no longer met the criteria to reside were not discharged.
  • There were 7,963 patients with Covid in hospital as of 29 March.
  • The number of adult beds taken up by patients with norovirus symptoms was 554. Last year the same figure was 240.
  • There were 344 beds occupied by patients with flu last week, of which 301 were in general and acute beds and 43 in adult critical care beds. The week before (w/e 19 March), there were 33 flu patients in critical care.
  • A total of 79,665 patients were taken to A&E by ambulance.
  • There were 21,617 hours lost to ambulance handover delays.
  • The number of calls answered by the NHS 111 service was 332,477, up from 309,558 the week before.