Twin-demic is HERE: Flu admissions up SEVEN-FOLD in a month while Covid sees staff absences spike and hospitalisations reach two-month high
- Flu hospitalisations in England are up seven fold in one month, NHS data shows
- Meanwhile, 8,000 health staff are were off sick due to Covid per day last week
- NHS medical director said data shows ‘twindemic’ fears ‘have been realised’
NHS officials say fears of ‘twin-demic’ of flu and Covid wreaking havoc on the health service have now come to pass.
Official data shows that hospital admissions for flu in England are up seven-fold from the last month, with nearly 4,000 patients a day hospitalised by the virus last week.
Meanwhile, nearly 9,000 patients in wards are infected with Covid — the highest level in two months — while the virus is forcing 8,000 staff to call in sick every day.
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director, said the data showed fears of a ‘twindemic’ of the two viruses ‘have been realised’.
The flu-nami has swept across the NHS in England, the latest round of health service data shows, with over 3,800 admissions for the virus on December 23. Graph shows the number of beds on wards taken up by those with flu (red) and the number of beds occupied due to the virus in critical care (blue)
NHS England data today showed that an average of 63,000 staff were off work every day in the week to Christmas (red line). Around 8,000 of the absences were due to Covid (blue line)
Latest Covid daily admission data shows nearly 1,300 people infected with the virus were hospitalised on December 19. The figure is up by a third week-on-week
The number of people infected with Covid taking up beds in wards across England soared above 8,600 on December 21, the latest data available shows. The figure has jumped 29 per cent in a week
Dubbed the ‘flu-nami’, the wave of influenza sweeping the NHS saw 3,746 people hospitalised each day in the week to December 25.
Of these, 267 were in critical care beds, meaning they were in an extremely serious condition.
The total number of hospitalisations is up 80 per cent from the previous week.
It is also a seven-fold increase from November — when only 520 patients were sick with the winter bug — and over 100 times more than December last year, when only 34 patients were in hospital with flu, of which two needed critical care.
Flu admissions spiked on December 23, when 3,880 patients were in general beds and 288 were in critical care.
Numbers tailed off just slightly on Christmas Day, the latest data available, with 3,849 general patients and 279 critical care admissions.
Pressures from flu are exacerbated by admissions and staff sickness due to Covid.
Latest Covid hospitalisation data shows nearly 1,300 people infected with the virus were admitted on December 19. The figure is up by a third week-on-week.
The number of people with Covid taking up beds soared above 8,600 on December 21, the latest data available shows. The figure has jumped 29 per cent in a week.
Meanwhile, NHS figures show 63,296 staff per day, on average, in the week to Christmas were off sick — up 20 per cent in a month.
Of these, 8,029 (12 per cent) blamed Covid for their absence. For comparison, just 5,441 were off sick due to the virus on the same date in November.
December 21 was the worst day for NHS staff being off sick, with 66,191 unable to work that day.
Covid related absences also peaked on December 21, with 8,525 staff off sick with the virus.
Staff sickness piles increasing pressure on the health service as hospitals have fewer medics to care for more patients.
MailOnline revealed yesterday that uptake of the flu vaccine among NHS staff this year was at its lowest level since 2012.
Ambulance handover delays peaked on December 19 with over 3,000 patients forced to wait over an hour in the back of an emergency vehicle unable to be offloaded to a hospital bed
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director, said the data showed fears of a ‘twindemic’ of the two viruses ‘have been realised’
Professor Powis, the NHS national medical director, said the data showed fears of a ‘twindemic’ putting extra pressure on the NHS had come to pass.
‘Sadly, these latest flu numbers show our fears of a ‘twindemic’ have been realised,’ he said.
He also highlighted the problems with bed-blockers, patients well enough to leave hospital but needing care at home, but who can’t leave due to a lack of capacity in social care.
‘As well as flu, the NHS continues to be under significant pressure, with high bed occupancy, more than 12,000 beds taken up by patients medically fit for discharge,’ he said.
Bed-blockers reduce hospital capacity for further admissions.
The crisis is one factor behind record A&E waits and ambulances being stuck outside hospitals unable to offload patients.
The NHS recorded its worst day this winter for ambulance handovers this month, data revealed today.
On December 19, over 3,000 patients were trapped in ambulances for more than an hour, unable to be offloaded to hospital staff due to a lack of beds.
Beds, in NHS terminology, don’t mean just the bed itself, but also having the medical staff required to look after the patients in them.
The combination of surging in winter viruses, Covid, staff sickness and bed-blockers have been listed as factors in several NHS trusts in England declaring critical incidents in the past week, meaning patient safety is at risk.
Others have banned visitors in attempt to stem the flow of winter bugs into hospitals as well reintroducing mask mandates.
In other health news:
Dozens of patients treated in corridors, 40-hour A&E waits and warnings to think twice about calling 999: Why IS the NHS struggling and is YOUR hospital affected?
NHS is treating Britons addicted to… ANGRY BIRDS: Over 200 people were sent for therapy last year after getting hooked on games like War Zone, Fortnite and FIFA
Could China’s Covid outbreak really push the fight against the virus back to square one? Experts warn new worrying variants could spring up but immunity should keep severe illness at bay
Source: Read Full Article