The rate of hospital admissions for Covid in London may have peaked, according to a health leader.
Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, said London had seen a “significant drop” in hospital stays in the past two days.
The Omicron outbreak in the English capital began before the rest of the UK, where Covid cases are still increasing rapidly. Hopson said figures for London could show the capital’s hospital admissions rate was now at an earlier apparent high in cases.
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But he told the BBC on Monday that the UK public could not rest on their laurels, warning “the future is uncertain” and citing students’ expected return to school in January as unpredictable.
Hopson, whose organization represents Health Trusts, added that pressure on the NHS is now expanding to hospitals outside London.
“We see more and more people entering the hospital, we see more and more staff absenteeism, and that adds to a very significant amount of pressure,” he said.
“It was striking to speak to CEOs about how these pressures are mounting outside of London. We see an increasing number of Covid patients coming to the hospital, there is a lot of staff shortage, which is a real problem in some trusts. “
He explained that the problems were made worse by normal winter pressures, as well as the wider drive to get booster shots as many people as possible.
319 patients were hospitalized in London on December 31, an increase of 14 percent on the same day a week earlier and 450 on December 30, an increase of 15 percent from the week. In the days before, on December 29th, there was an increase of 32% with 511 admissions.
The latest data available shows that 11,918 people were hospitalized with Covid across the UK on December 29th. That number was 8,717 on Boxing Day. You can view specific stats for Wales on January 2nd here.
Professor Clive Kay, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kings College Hospital in London, also told the BBC: “We are struggling with staff shortages, particularly due to Covid. The numbers have leveled off a little at 700 or so around Christmas time. “
He said 700 may not seem like much, but “the speed with which employees have to leave is causing problems”. He added that those numbers have dropped from 10 days to seven days in the past few days, in line with changes to the self-isolation rules.
He said the hospital now has 360 inpatients with Covid, 10% of whom are in intensive care – most of them unvaccinated.
Boris Johnson has said the pressure on the NHS will be “substantial” for “the next few weeks and maybe more”.
During a visit to a vaccination center at the Guttman Center at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, the prime minister said Monday the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was “clearly milder” than other strains.
But he said, “There is no question that Omicron continues to pour through the country”.
He added, “I think we need to realize that the pressures on our NHS, on our hospitals, will be significant over the next few weeks, and maybe more. There are still quite a few people. ”Who had two jabs but not the third. The third jab really makes a big, big difference. “
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