United Kingdom

One Covid patient being admitted to hospital every 30 seconds

Medical workers bring a patient out of an ambulance outside the Royal London Hospital this week (Picture: Reuters)

The head of the NHS has warned that one Covid patient is now being admitted to hospital every 30 seconds, in England alone.

NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘The facts are very clear and I am not going to sugar-coat them. Hospitals are under extreme pressure and staff are under extreme pressure.

‘Since Christmas Day, we have seen another 15,000 increase in the in-patients in hospitals across England. That’s the equivalent of filling 30 hospitals full of coronavirus patients.

‘Staggeringly, every 30 seconds across England another patient is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus.’

Speaking outside Kingston Hospital in London this morning, he said that meant the equivalent of the facility being full by lunchtime.

 A record 4,134 Covid-19 hospital admissions were recorded in the England on January 12 – and daily figures have been around that level for some time. That statistic does not account for Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.

On Friday, the Prime Minister said 37,000 people were in hospital with the virus – and that figure will now be higher.

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At the same Downing Street press conference, England’s Chief Medical Officer said the number of patients being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 is set to peak within the next 10 days.

Professor Chris Whitty said he hoped the peak in infections had already happened in the South East, East and London, where there was a surge in the Kent variant.

But he said it will be later elsewhere – while the peak in deaths will be later still.

Nearly two weeks ago, one expert warned Metro.co.uk that the NHS could be overwhelmed by more than 5,000 daily cases.

This is a breaking story – more to follow.

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MORE : Another 1,295 people die with Covid as 41,346 new cases recorded

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