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Commenting on the latest weekly winter sit rep figures for the week ending 17 March 2024, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said:

“These latest figures show that while the coldest winter months might be behind us, NHS services are still under significant pressure with over 3,700 more patients in hospitals every day last week than the same time last year, despite the measures in our urgent and emergency care recovery plan delivering more care in the community and ensuring there are an extra 2,500 beds in place.

“Hospitals are also still experiencing high levels of winter viruses with more than three times as many patients with flu in hospital every day last week than the same time last year, alongside 680 patients with norovirus and over 1,600 patients with Covid-19, which places additional pressure on staff and capacity with infection prevention and control measures leading to the closure of more beds.

“A&E services remained incredibly busy last week with 33 periods in which an agreed temporary divert was in place, more than 90,500 ambulances handing over patients at hospitals, and the highest number of 111 calls for five weeks – so as always, please only call 999 or use A&E in an emergency and go to NHS 111 online or your local pharmacy for other conditions.”

  • The latest figures are available here.
  • There were 680 patients with norovirus in hospital last week, similar to 683 in the previous week and slightly lower than 693 the same week last year (w/e 19 March 2023).
  • There were 1,152 patients with flu in hospital each day last week , including 46 in critical care. That is over three times higher than the 364 patients a day in hospital at the same time last year.
  • There were 1,680 patients in hospital with Covid-19 last week, down slightly on the previous week (1,689) and lower than 8,232 the same period last year.
  • An average of 97,229 general and acute beds were occupied each day last week, 3,729 higher than 93,500 last year. The total bed occupancy rate last week was 94.3%.
  • There was a total of 103,145 general and acute beds open each day last week, 2,642 more than the 100,503 open last year.
  • The number of patients in hospital despite no longer needing to be there (12,988) was the lowest it has been since the w/e 07 January 2024.
  • There were 90,553 ambulance handovers at hospital last week, with 26,948 hours lost to handover delays.
  • NHS 111 teams answered 371,992 calls last week, with 54.1% answered within a minute. [Please note this week’s 111 figures cannot be compared to last year due to a data submission issue w/e 19 March 2023].