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The speed of covid’s acceleration is spelt out in stark data on HSJ today which shows the number of covid positive inpatients in English hospitals rose 2,256 to 16,183 over the seven days to 19 December.
The 16.2 per cent increase compares to one of 7.4 per cent in the previous seven-day period, underlining how the pandemic is speeding up.
If the rate is maintained, the English NHS will end 2020 with approximately the same number of covid positive inpatients as at the peak of the pandemic on 12 April.
Our story shows the following picture for the regions:
- London: Responsible for the largest rise in covid inpatients, up 817 (39 per cent) to 2,909 on the 12 December figure.
- Eastern: Inpatient numbers jumped 536 (38 per cent) to 1,943, the highest ever total recorded in the region.
- South East: A rise of 376 inpatients (19.3 per cent) to 1,943, the highest total recorded since 20 April.
- South West: The fourth region to see a dramatic increase in inpatient numbers, up 208 (24.7 per cent) to 1,051, a figure last recorded on 17 April.
- Midlands: The region with the highest number of covid positive inpatients. The number rose 7 per cent to a level equivalent to that on 14 April.
- North East and Yorkshire: Rose 4.5 per cent to 2,413. The region reported a similar number on 9 April.
- North West: Inpatient numbers remained flat for a fortnight. Its 2,253 inpatients is very similar to the number recorded on 28 April in the region.
No Plan B for The Big C
The ending of contracts with the independent sector has put cancer surgery in the capital under threat, writes Ben Clover on HSJ today.
Covid admissions have put pressure on services that can no longer turn to alternative providers, HSJ has learned.
Research by HSJ has discovered that NHS England ended contracts with HCA, The London Clinic and the Cromwell Hospital at the end of August, after concerns about underutilisation.
Under the previous deal with the private sector, rules were in place to make sure low-priority private patients were not treated ahead of NHS patients who needed surgery urgently.
HCA and The Cromwell have confirmed the contracts were ended in August and were not renewed. The London Clinic did not respond to a request for comment.
HSJ understands NHSE, under pressure from the Treasury, was not willing to pay the prices asked by the three private providers.