According to data, more than 25% of Covid patients currently in hospital are being treated for other conditions. This has led to calls for changes at the NHS. 

According to statistics from the Health Service, 5,697 people were admitted to beds by those who tested positive on December 7. 

However, only 4214 (74 percent) of the patients were being treated for the virus. The rest are suffering from various illnesses and injuries. This could be a broken leg or a fall.

The country’s successful vaccination drive resulted in older patients, who were more susceptible to the disease, being a lesser proportion of those admitted to hospital. 

Campaigners called today on the NHS for an end to the inflating of Covid admissions. This included patients brought in initially for an injury or accident.

Ministers weigh up hospital counts to assess whether tougher Covid curbs might be needed. 

The Government was presented with Grim SAGE modeling that has warned of hospitalisations at levels never seen since January’s darkest days. Amanda Pritchard from NHS England told MPs today that signs suggest the Omicron wave may be bigger.

No10 is already acquiescing to Plan B requirements. These restrictions saw Work from Home guidance reinstated, face masks reimposed, and stricter self-isolation rules implemented for Covid case contacts.

Britain’s daily Covid cases reached a new record after 78610 people were tested for the virus during the past 24 hours. It was the largest number ever seen in one day. Seven percent more people were admitted to hospital after seventy-seven additional cases were reported.

This graph displays the percentage of Covid patients admitted to hospital and their primary reasons for being there (yellow lines). The graph shows that nearly 25% of Covid patient are receiving care for another reason, such as fall.

The proportion of patients in hospitals has also shifted, with fewer 65 to 84-year-olds now being admitted for Covid after the vaccines were rolled out

After the introduction of vaccines, the proportion of hospitalized patients has changed. Now, fewer people 65-84 years old are admitted to hospitals for Covid.

Omicron Covid, the predominant variant of Omicron Covid in London is currently dominant. It is likely to dominate other areas in the coming days or weeks.

Today, government advisers increased pressure on ministers to use Plan C. They warned that the NHS was already in “serious danger” and that it is at risk of being overwhelmed next month.  

This contingency plan would see the introduction of face masks in restaurants and pubs across England. It could also include controversial vaccine passports being extended to theatres and cinemas. Social distancing in public indoor spaces may be possible as part of the contingency plan. 

Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is a SAGE member. He said today that if infection rates continue to rise rapidly, admission numbers may get very large and exceed 2,000 per hour. It is less than half of the January peak, when it reached 4,000 per day.

His team showed that the toll may be greater than what was seen in the first wave.

Scientists press government to impose harsher restrictions

Today, scientists advising the government increased pressure on ministers to impose tighter Covid restrictions. 

Omicron is the “biggest threat” according to Dr Jenny Harries of the UK Health Security Agency. 

She said to MPs, “Trying to prevent any infection still remains key,” especially when Omicron is predicted to flood the country and put our health systems in danger.

Graham Medley, a SAGE modeller admitted that he was concerned about the super-strain’s potential to trigger an’very large’ number of hospitalisations due to its transmissibility. Professor Adam Finn, a vaccine advisor called for immediate action in order stop the spread of the virus.

After suffering the 100-strong revolt of backbenchers over Covid passes introduction last night there are serious doubts about whether or not the Prime Minister is able to impose a more restrictive lockdown, if necessary.

Omicron already accounts for half the new Covid cases occurring in London. The infection rate of Omicron rose to unprecedented levels from January. It has led to calls for more regional action. 

According to a modeling study, the cases of colds in London are rising at a faster rate than any time since the beginning wave. Experts believe that this is a sign that someone with recurring colds has Covid.

London’s West End has been effectively locked down as shows have been suspended, and restaurants and bars are subject to cancellations due to mounting concerns about the new variant.

England sees an average of 750 Covid admissions each day. However, Omicron will only be fully effective when the time between becoming infected with the virus and getting seriously ill has passed.

No10 refused to give a figure for the threshold at which additional restrictions would be applied, insisting that Plan B is sufficient to deal with the crisis.

Critics say that the numbers used to calculate the number of Covid hospitals have been less reliable in gauging outbreaks and NHS pressure. 

Prof Karol Sikora, a former adviser to the World Health Organization and expert in healthcare, said when Professor Karol asked whether the NHS should count Covid patients that aren’t being treated for the disease.

“If the road accident caused them to be there, then they should be removed.” 

“Some people have chest infections, but you can’t tell if it’s Covid.

‘[But]You may have to declare them as Covid hospitals if they prove positive.

NHS describes patients as ‘primarily non-Covid’ could be suffering from an illness that is exacerbated because of the virus, or could be vulnerable and become seriously ill while in hospital.

To get an accurate picture of the extent of the epidemic, it only began to distinguish between different types of hospital patients in June. The then-newly appointed Health Secretary Sajid javid instructed it to do this, who is far more hawkish than Matt Hancock.

Professor Sikora claimed figures show that the NHS does not face any greater pressure this time of year than usual, contrary to what some critics claim.

He said that although the Covid patient population is only 5%, the number of NHS beds for them remains below 5%. Hospitals would have to be concerned if this percentage rises.

Octember saw hospitals being told that they could eliminate social distancing from their facilities, use standard cleaning techniques and not require that patients come in for surgery with a 3-day isolation. 

According to region breakdown, Midlands is home to the greatest number of Covid patients.

Official statistics show that 64.8 Percent of those admitted to the virus wards have an additional illness. The North East (697.7%) followed closely by the North West (71.1%)

On the other end of the scale London — the current epicentre of the Omicron crisis — had the highest proportion of patients being treated for Covid (83.9 per cent), followed by the South West (82.1 per cent) and the South East (76.8 per cent). 

Data from separate sources shows that 38% of those admitted to hospitals were aged 65-84, which is a drop from 46.7 % last year. 

Patients with older Covid tend to have more severe disease. This is a result of the low numbers. 

England has approximately 4.6% of its 91,000 hospitals that are available for patients who have been diagnosed with the virus.

However, experts warn that warning bells must sound when the increase is greater than 5%. The NHS however should not be considered to be in danger until this percentage reaches 20 percent.

The Omicron epicentre London is seeing the fastest growth in hospitalisations, with an average 32 percent increase in admissions per week (from 110 to 145 each day). However, they have been slightly increasing in all areas according to Department of Health statistics.

Professor Medley, a consultant on infectious diseases modeling and government adviser, said it was very possible that hospitals would be overwhelmed.

Today on BBC Radio 4: He said that the rising number of infections and the spread of infection into the older generations could lead to more people being admitted. It is possible that the hospital admissions will exceed the 1,500 to 2,000 per night that the Delta variant has managed to contain.

“It was kind of under 1,000 since July with no restrictions. But I believe that it is going to prove very difficult, or very unlikely, to achieve this.”

The expert replied that he believed there was a possibility that the NHS would be overwhelmed in the next month.

It’s difficult to predict these things. Although you cannot put any risk on these things, it is possible to make them more probable.

He warned, however, that the number of hospitalisations may rise to the point where there is no way for the country to survive the fourth month of the pandemic.

He also said boosters could be used to protect against the virus and keep many people from becoming seriously ill or ending up in the hospital.