- Data shows 6,146 NHS beds taken up by Covid positive patients on 14 September, latest healthcare data shows
- But only 4,721 patients (77%) were being treated primarily for the coronavirus, the rest possibly being ’emergent’ cases
- In NHS hospitals in the Midlands, a third of COVID patients were being treated primarily for other illness or injury
According to official figures, about a quarter of Covid patients in England are actually in hospital for a different reason.
Health service figures show 6,146 NHS beds were taken up by coronavirus-positive people on 14 September, the latest date for which data is available.
But only 4,721 patients (77 percent) were primarily being treated for the virus, with the remaining 1,425 receiving care for other illnesses or injuries. These can include patients who have had a fall or even new mothers who have tested positive after giving birth.
In NHS hospitals in the Midlands, about a third of COVID patients were being treated primarily for some other reason as of 14 September.
Separate NHS figures show that over half of daily hospitalizations test positive only after being admitted for a different condition.
Hospital numbers have become an important metric for ministers and their scientific advisers, now that vaccines have outpaced infection numbers.
Boris Johnson has said that if the number of Covid hospitalizations increase rapidly as part of his winter blueprint for tackling the virus, the lockdown may have to be curbed, which could make masks and working from home mandatory again. Is.
But he did not put a firm figure on the threshold to trigger the return of restrictions when he announced contingency plans earlier this week.
The latest figures suggest that standard COVID hospital numbers have become a less reliable way of mitigating the outbreak and NHS pressure.
Health service figures show that as of the latest date with data 14 September, 6,146 NHS beds were taken by people who were coronavirus positive. But only 4,721 patients (77 percent) were primarily being treated for the virus, with the remaining 1,425 receiving care for other illnesses or injuries.
The UK is currently receiving 1,000 Covid hospitalizations per day, most of which are in England (shown). This is up from about 750 on ‘Independence Day’ on 19 July, when all legal restrictions were lifted in England.
Divided by region, the Midlands saw the highest proportion of COVID patients being treated for a different disease on 14 September.
Of the 1,228 (68 per cent) patients, only 883 had a primary diagnosis of Covid who were in hospital beds and were positive.
This was followed by North West, where about 29 per cent of the Covid patients were actually being treated for a different issue.
NHS performed 1 million fewer emergency procedures last year due to COVID
According to official figures, over one lakh emergency hospitalizations were ‘lost’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the 12 months to March 5.45 million emergency procedures were performed across all NHS England services, down 16 per cent at 6.5m the previous year.
NHS digital figures published on Thursday include admissions for accident and emergencies, mental health, maternity and even dental patients.
The figures also show that there were 3.2m fewer elective surgeries in the same period, with 5.6m coming to care during the pandemic, compared to 5.6m pre-Covid.
Patients struggled to get care through repeated lockdowns as healthcare turned its attention to COVID.
Many were also hesitant to come forward for fear of being a burden on the NHS or being vulnerable to the virus.
The NHS is under increasing pressure to reduce the record waiting lists that have accumulated during the pandemic, now that COVID vaccines have broken the link between infection and serious illness.
At the other end of the scale, COVID was the primary cause of 83 percent of patients in London and the South West.
Health officials say those classified as ‘predominantly non-Covid’ may be suffering from a disease that has increased due to the virus.
The NHS only began to differentiate between types of patients in hospital in June to get a better idea of the scale of the outbreak.
The directive to do so was given by the then newly appointed health secretary Sajid Javid, who is a much more ‘hawk’ than his predecessor, Matt Hancock.
Hospitals were asked to give the details of those who went to the hospital mainly due to COVID and are suffering from severe symptoms.
People who test positive but are in hospital for some other reason are referred to as ’emergent cases’ and are picked up in the NHS due to routine swabs.
Since the figures began to be published on June 18, the proportion of casual cases has varied between a fifth and a quarter.
These patients appear to make up a large proportion of the number of daily hospital admissions.
Data leaked in July showed that more than half (56 per cent) of these were patients who tested positive only after admission.
This trend is largely in line with separate data published every fortnight by Public Health England showing that four out of 10 Covid admissions in patients with the delta variant are ‘accidental’.
Experts say the data suggests that the hospital figures reported on the government’s COVID dashboard are ‘misleading’.
But in a worst-case scenario, according to Dr Simon Clarke of the University of Reading, they could indicate the virus is still spreading in NHS wards, putting the most vulnerable at risk.
The microbiologist told MailOnline: ‘A quarter of the possible accidental cases are still many people, it’s still a big problem.
‘You have people in the hospital who have just had surgery and whose immune systems are affected, if they catch Covid in the ward they can get very sick.’
Dr Clarke said the findings do not mean the NHS is under any less pressure, which some critics have…