Nearly half of all coronavirus patients in some hospitals caught the illness AFTER being admitted, new figures show
- Figures show rise in patients getting coronavirus after being admitted to wards
- In some hospitals, close to half of Covid patients got the virus after admission
- The new data has led to renewed calls for an increase in testing of all NHS staff
Almost half of all coronavirus patients in some hospitals are likely to have caught it while being treated there, new figures have revealed.
The data shows that there has been a doubling in hospital patients getting infected with the virus after admission in the last month.
NHS figures show 18 per cent of hospital patients with coronavirus across the country are thought to have become infected after they were admitted to a ward.
This is up from nine per cent in just one month.
The figures include people who have tested positive at least seven days after being admitted.
Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS trust in Surrey recorded 44.6 per cent of infections in patients after admission, while University Hospitals Dorset NHS foundation trust recorded 44.4 per cent.
In the North West, at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS foundation trust, 271 patients were diagnosed with the virus in the week ending October 25.
Of those, 27 per cent were likely to have been infected after they went to hospital.
Jeremy Hunt, chairman of the Commons Health Select Committee, slammed the figures.
He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘These are shocking figures. Many people died in the first wave after picking up the infection inside a hospital or a care home.
‘We seem to have learned the lessons in care homes, but are still not doing weekly testing of hospital staff. To make the same mistake twice would be indefensible.’
The committee has long called for the introduction of weekly testing of NHS staff, including those who don’t show symptoms.
They stress that identifying asymptomatic staff would help stop the virus running rife through hospitals.
Jeremy Hunt, chairman of the Commons Health Select Committee, slammed the figures and called for more testing
An NHS spokesperson said: ‘Rising community Covid transmission increases the risk in healthcare settings, so hospitals have been asked to ensure they are accurately recording their data and are rigorously following infection prevention and control protocols, including now the introduction of asymptomatic staff testing.
‘It has never been more important that everyone does what they can to reduce the risk of spreading the virus by following the Hands, Face, Space guidance.’
It come after it was suggested that NHS hospitals in England appear quieter than usual for this time of year even though they are treating more than 9,000 patients with coronavirus.
A leaked document claims 84 per cent of all hospital beds were occupied across the country yesterday, which is lower than the 92 per cent recorded during autumn last year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday sent Britain reeling when he announced a second lockdown and a return to his catchphrase ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’.
But the 84 per cent figure, revealed by the Health Service Journal, suggests that the health service as a whole is not under as much strain as officials imply.
Bed occupancy has not averaged lower than 85 per cent in any normal three-month period for the past decade.
Even during the peak of the first wave of coronavirus in the UK, Covid-19 patients never accounted for more than 30 per cent of all hospital patients and tens of thousands of vacated beds went unused during the spring
Hospital bed occupancy this year dropped to its lowest percentage for a decade when medics had to turf out thousands of inpatients to make room for a predicted surge in people with Covid-19. Now that normal care has resumed, a leaked report suggests there are still fewer than average numbers of beds in use
The only exception to this was between April and June this year, when it stood at 64 per cent because hospitals were forced to turf out thousands of non-Covid patients to make space for the epidemic.
Regional differences in the coronavirus outbreak mean some places are feeling more strain than others – one major hospital trust in Liverpool is already be treating more Covid-19 patients than it was in the spring.
Officials are making repeated comparisons to the spring situation as a shorthand for crisis but will not explain how busy hospitals actually are.
Tens of thousands of beds went unused during the peak of the first wave of Covid-19 and officials and officials say the ‘available capacity’ of hospitals is only around 20,000, prompting startling warnings they could run out of room by next month.
And coronavirus data for all of England now shows that the number of people in hospital with the disease dropped on Sunday for the first time in a month, falling from 9,213 to 9,077.
Department of Health figures saw a 12.5 per cent decrease in the number of cases from last Tuesday when figures reached 22,885 but were higher than yesterday’s figures when cases reached 18,950
Fatalities rose by 8.17 per cent from last Tuesday after it was announced that another 395 people had died from the virus today – bringing the total death toll in the country to 47,250
Signs that the second wave coronavirus could be making a turn began to make an appearance today as the UK recorded a 12.5 per cent decrease in the number of people testing positive.
The Department of Health figures, which initially were delayed in their release, saw a further 20,018 people test positive for the virus today, bringing the total number of confirmed cases during the pandemic to 1,073,882.
Meanwhile fatalities rose by 8.17 per cent from last Tuesday after it was announced that another 395 people had died from the virus today – bringing the total death toll to 47,250.
The latest death figure marks a rise from yesterday when 136 deaths were recorded in Britain and are also higher than last Tuesday when the number of deaths reached 367.
The all-settings figures – which covers cases in care homes, hospitals and the wider community across the home nations – will now call into question whether the Government’s tier structure restrictions were already beginning to have an effect on the nation’s rates of transmissions prior to the announcement of a second lockdown.
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