NHS weekly winter operational update for the week ending 19 March 2023

Commenting on this morning’s updated weekly sitrep figures, NHS England’s chief strategy officer, Chris Hopson, said: “Three years since the NHS treated the first Covid patient in hospital, new figures today show our hardworking staff have now treated more than one million patients with Covid in hospitals across England throughout the pandemic. While we are in a very different situation today than we were three years ago, thanks largely to the speed and success of the NHS Covid vaccination programme, we know the virus still poses risks.

“It continues to have an impact on patients and on our hospitals – as patients who are primarily being treated for other illnesses and injuries can take longer to recover if they also have Covid, others may not be able to have elective surgery when they are Covid-positive, and because measures to stop the virus spreading mean additional beds need to be closed, adding to pressures on bed capacity. Today’s data shows more than nine in 10 beds were occupied, with more than 13,300 beds taken up by patients medically fit for discharge each day last week.

“Today’s figures also show the sustained pressure on our services, with more than 77,000 patients taken to hospital by ambulance last week and ambulance handover delays improving, and, while the number of people in hospital with norovirus has gone down from the previous week, the numbers remain high for this time of year – 689 adult beds were occupied by patients with norovirus like symptoms last week, more than double the same week last year (293).

“As ever, it is vital that people get their vaccines when eligible and continue to come forward for the care they need by using 999 in an emergency or NHS 111 online for other conditions.”


In the week ending March 19: