Commenting on the NHS Weekly Winter Operational Update for the week ending 26 February 2023, NHS national medical director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said:
“There are almost 5,000 more patients in NHS hospital beds every day compared to this time last year and the average number of patients in hospital who no longer meet the criteria to reside is up more than a sixth on the same week in 2022 – a reminder as we begin to see signs of Spring elsewhere, pressure on NHS staff remains significant.
“The ongoing impact of winter viruses continues with hundreds of flu patients still in hospital, the number of covid patients is up almost a quarter since last month and norovirus remains a concern – with cases in hospital three times higher than last year.
“Despite this pressure and the impact of industrial action last week, the NHS continues to tackle the covid backlog with waits of more than 18 months down a quarter in a month, as well as recovering urgent and emergency care services with thousands of extra beds, hundreds more ambulances and a range of measures to better treat people in the community.
“So, it is important that people continue to come forward for the care they need by using 999 in an emergency or using 111 online for other conditions.”