NHS England comment on latest weekly winter sit rep figures

Commenting on the latest weekly winter sit rep figures, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said:

“It is encouraging that some winter pressures seem to be easing, but with more than 1,030 people in hospital with flu each day – three times higher than the same time last year – and 556 patients with norovirus and 1,558 with Covid in hospital last week, these continue to place additional pressure on staff and capacity with infection prevention and control measures leading to the closure of more beds.

“Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff, today’s data also show improvements – more than 91,300 patients were taken to hospital by ambulance last week, up 15% on the same week last year, while the number of hours lost to handover delays was down on the week before, and 16% lower than the same week last year, despite the increased demand and continued high bed occupancy.

“We know there is an increase in demand for NHS services following a Bank Holiday weekend, and we would encourage anyone who needs care this weekend to seek medical care in the usual way – NHS 111 online for urgent advice, and by calling 999 in emergencies.”

Further information

  • The latest figures for the week ending 24 March 2024 are available here: Statistics » Urgent and Emergency Care Daily Situation Reports 2023-24
  • There were 556 patients with norovirus in hospital last week, down from 680 in the previous week, and the same as the 556 in the same week last year (w/e 26 March 2023)
  • There were 1,037 patients with flu in hospital each day last week , including 38 in critical care. That is three times higher than the 344 patients a day in hospital at the same time last year, however, whilst the NHS continues to experience pressure because of seasonal viruses, flu cases in hospital have fallen in recent weeks
  • There were 1,558 patients in hospital with Covid-19 last week, down on the previous week (1,674)
  • An average of 96,929 general and acute beds were occupied each day last week, 2,208 higher than the same week last year. The total bed occupancy rate last week was 94.1%
  • There was a total of 103,053 general and acute beds open each day last week, 2,350 more than the 100,703 open last year
  • The average number of patients in hospital each day, despite no longer needing to be there (13,131) is up slightly on the previous week (12,988)
  • There were 91,321 ambulance handovers at hospital last week, with 18,123 hours lost to handover delays – this is compared with 79,665 handovers, and 21,617 hours lost to handover delays in the same week last year (w/e 26 March 2023)
  • NHS 111 teams answered 371,172 calls last week, with 58.1% answered within a minute