The number of flu cases in hospitals in England jumped by nearly half (47%) last week.
According to the latest NHS England data, there were 5,105 patients in general and acute beds in the week to New Year’s Day. This was up from 3,479 the week before.
The stats also revealed that the number of patients with flu in critical care beds rose from 267 to 336 over the week: a 26% increase.
That same week the year before saw only 38 flu cases in general and acute beds and just two in critical care beds.
And around 9,390 patients were in hospital everyday with Covid, up by about 1,200 cases on the previous week.
It come as the Government announced around £250m funding to speed up discharge from hospitals.
Today’s data revealed more than nine-in-10 beds were occupied and 12,809 beds a day we taken up by patients who were medically fit to be discharged. This is up by 30% on last year.
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: ‘We knew this winter would be one of the most difficult in the history of the NHS and I want to thank staff for all their hard work in caring for and treating so many patients while dealing with record demand on services, including the enormous pressure from flu and Covid.
‘The plans we announced last autumn will help ensure we are in the best place possible to provide care for patients at this incredibly challenging time, with extra call handlers in place, community services established to help keep people out of hospital where possible and we’re also continuing to make good progress to put the equivalent of 7,000 extra beds in place by March.’