Covid hospital admissions are rising in FOUR FIFTHS of trusts in England

Four-fifths of NHS hospitals in England are now seeing a spike in Covid patients being admitted, official data has shown as the third wave of the pandemic continues to take its toll ahead of ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday. 

MailOnline analysis of NHS England data show how the number of infected patients needing medical treatment has soared by four-fold in some of the worst-hit parts of the country.

And hospitalisations have doubled in 29 of the 123 NHS trusts across England that are capable of treating the infected.

But the proportion of beds occupied by infected people in Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust — currently the worst-hit NHS facility in the country — is still only 9.25 per cent, with trusts not yet swamped with virus patients.

For comparison, hospitals in Kent saw nearly 45 per cent of all beds occupied by Covid-infected Brits during the darkest days of the second wave in January.  

The figures come with Britain on the brink of breaching the 50,000 daily cases mark as infections close in on levels seen at the start of the year. 

Hospitalisations are also rising in line with surging cases, with NHS England data showing 486 Covid admissions on July 13 — the latest date regional data is available for. For comparison, the week before the figure stood at 383. 

Mounting pressure on the health service is being fuelled by the ‘pingdemic’, with huge numbers of NHS staff  being forced to self-isolate. 

Health bosses in Sunderland have already asked staff to postpone holidays as the trust came ‘under extreme pressure’ due to a surge in coronavirus cases. Staff at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust — dealing with one of the highest infection rates in the country — are seeing hospital cases doubling week-on-week.

Four fifths of NHS hospitals in England are now seeing a spike in Covid patients being admitted, official data has shown as the third wave of the pandemic continues to take its toll ahead of ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday

Hospital asks staff to postpone holidays 

Health bosses in Sunderland have asked staff to postpone holidays as the trust came ‘under extreme pressure’ due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

Staff at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust – dealing with one of the highest infection rates in the country – are seeing hospital cases doubling week-on-week.

In an internal note to staff earlier this week, bosses said there were 80 Covid-19 patients receiving hospital treatment compared with just two exactly a month before.

The message started: ‘The Trust is currently under extreme pressure due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

‘Many people are seriously ill and receiving intensive care support.’

The surge in cases and rapid spread in the community meant the trust has had to ask for staff’s help, the memo said.

It asked for staff to work additional shifts, with a £250 bonus for staff who could work an extra week of overtime spread over the next six weeks.

They were told they would need to be flexible and might need to work outside their normal area.

And they were asked: ‘If you are due to take annual leave but feel able to postpone this to help support the Trust’s Covid-19 response, please talk to your line manager ASAP.’  

The NHS England data revealed Sandwell and West Birmingham had the highest Covid bed occupancy in the country. Fifty-three of the trust’s 573 beds were taken with Covid patients on July 13.

It was followed by trusts in Gateshead (9.15 per cent), Bolton (8.25 per cent) and Southport (8.04 per cent).

Regionally, the North West had the highest rate in the country at 4.35 per cent, while at the other end of the scale came the East of England (1.17 per cent).

Admissions rose quickest in Whittington and Berkshire, which both saw more than four times as many Covid patients on July 13 as the week before.

And the highest number of beds in use by people infected with the virus was in Manchester University Hospitals Trust, in which 111 of 1,853 beds were taken — six per cent of its capacity.

Twenty six trusts saw their number of Covid patients drop including trusts in Buckinghamshire, East Kent and Cambridge.

It comes after MailOnline revealed four out of 10 patients hospitalised with the Indian Covid variant in England may have been admitted for something else.

Fewer people are becoming severely ill thanks to the vaccines. Professor Paul Hunter, an expert in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said that by next winter ‘most cases admitted with a positive test will not be admitted because of Covid’.

But despite hope the surge in cases won’t result in more hospitalisations, England’s Chief Medical Officer yesterday admitted the country may have to face new restrictions within weeks. 

Professor Whitty said Britain is ‘not out of the woods yet’ and could face another lockdown within weeks.

Speaking at a Science Museum event, he said: ‘I don’t think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast. We are not by any means out of the woods yet on this,.

‘[But] we are in much better shape due to the vaccine programme, and drugs and a variety of other things.’

He called on Britons to ‘take things incredibly slowly’ after July 19, amid warnings from transport operators across the country that they will still ask people to wear face masks next week. 

Infection rates on July 11
Infection rates on July 4

PHE figures also showed Covid infections have now surged to their highest levels since the pandemic began among teenagers, and in the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber. Cases are spiralling in 90 per cent of areas across the country

‘If you look over what people have done, and in fact if you look at what people intend to do now, people have been incredibly good at saying, ”I may be a relatively low risk, but people around me are at high risk, and I’m going to modify my behaviours”,’ he said.

Professor Whitty also warned the country was running the risk of seeing ‘vaccine escape variants’ that could push the UK ‘some way backwards’ into the worst days of the pandemic.

He warned that the number of people being treated in hospital with Covid-19 could reach “quite scary” levels within weeks.

The Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine issued a joint call to exempt double-jabbed NHS staff from isolation over close contacts.

‘The risk of patients contracting Covid from vaccinated healthcare staff is minimal compared to the damage that patients could suffer by having their treatment delayed,’ a statement said.

‘Without this exemption in place, the NHS will not be able to address the waiting lists. We encourage the Government to not wait until August to free vaccinated healthcare workers from the isolation rules – we need this to happen now.’

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the hospital trusts the organisation represents are increasingly concerned over dealing with the care backlog ‘with large numbers of staff unable to work’.

‘We know that national leaders are working hard to find a solution to this problem. The key is that this solution is delivered as a matter of urgency,’ he added. 

Fears ‘pingdemic’ will Britain to its knees: Bosses warn factories will shut, some food could run out, hospitals cancel holidays and 1.6MILLION people in a week are told to isolate – but ministers still REFUSE to back down over app chao

Factories could be forced to start closing today and consumers could see shortages of some foods because of the pingdemic caused by the NHS Covis app, ministers were warned today. 

Hospitals are also under pressure because huge numbers of staff are being forced to self-isolate, with one asking staff to delay holidays to keep services running.

Nissan was among businesses that have flagged serious issues, after around 900 workers at its flagship plant in Sunderland were forced to isolate after they were pinged by the app.

But despite a deluge of warnings from across England a junior minister today said the software device will not be scrapped.

Solicitor General Minister Lucy Frazer admitted the Government recognises the ‘significant impact’ it is having, but said it remained an ‘important tool’ in the fight against Covid-19.

Her comments came after more than half a million users in England and Wales received an alert in the seven days to July 7, the highest seven-day total since data was first published in January.

Analysis by the Guardian suggests that 1.6million people are currently self isolating, once children and those who actually have Covid are factored in. 

Last night Unite’s Steve Bush told Newsnight: ‘I believe we’re hours not days or weeks away from our first temporary closure of sites.’

And the Meat Processors Association chief executive said abattoirs would have to  ‘rationalise’ product lines, stopping those requiring the most butchery, in order to keep food on shelves. 

NHS England data showed a record 520,000 alerts were sent by the app last week, telling people they had been in close contact with someone who tested positive

NHS England data showed a record 520,000 alerts were sent by the app last week, telling people they had been in close contact with someone who tested positive

And the number of alerts sent out in relation to venues also more than doubled in seven days

And the number of alerts sent out in relation to venues also more than doubled in seven days

Charlotte Crook had been at home in Middleton, Greater Manchester, following the rules after a positive coronavirus test when police arrived in a 'riot van'.

Charlotte Crook had been at home in Middleton, Greater Manchester, following the rules after a positive coronavirus test when police arrived in a ‘riot van’.

Officers came to her home the next evening in what the family said was a riot van, prompting a 'meltdown' from the bewildered schoolgirl

Officers came to her home the next evening in what the family said was a riot van, prompting a ‘meltdown’ from the bewildered schoolgirl

Nick Allen told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We were struggling with skilled labour anyway, and now on top of this you have got them being pinged and told to stay at home for 10 days. 

‘So it’s quite a critical point and it is not really a numbers game. It’s if you get critical people in the production line pinged and having to stay at home that can cause as much of a problem as sheer numbers.’

But Ms Frazer said firms would have to wait until August 16 for the isolation requirement to go.   

‘It (the app) is an important tool because it is important that you do isolate if you do come into contact (with a positive case), but I know this is something the Government is looking at,’ she told Sky News.

‘In addition to the changes in mid-August, the Government is also carrying out a number of pilots to see whether instead of isolating when you get pinged, you could take a test.

‘The Government is looking at this very carefully, recognising the significant impact this is having on businesses.’ 

It came as health bosses in Sunderland asked staff to postpone holidays as the trust came ‘under extreme pressure’ due to a surge in coronavirus cases. 

Staff at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust – dealing with one of the highest infection rates in the country – are seeing hospital cases doubling week-on-week.

In an internal note to staff earlier this week, bosses said there were 80 Covid-19 patients receiving hospital treatment compared with just two exactly a month before

Test and Trace app pings neighbours through walls if their phones are too close despite the people having NO face-to-face contact 

The NHS Test and Trace app is ‘pinging’ neighbours through walls if their phones are in close proximity to each other, it was claimed last night.

Neighbours are being forced into quarantine for ten days despite never coming into contact with a positive case of the virus because the bluetooth signal used by the app is known to be strong enough to penetrate walls.

This means the technology will occasionally send an order to quarantine to people because their next-door neighbour – with whom they share a wall – may have tested positive, sources told The Telegraph.   

Sources have said issues concerning the sensitivity of the app were raised when it was initially created and are now in the process of being tweaked. 

A source told the Daily Telegraph: ‘We are hearing of anecdotal cases and we do know that it is possible for the signal to travel through walls, although it is weakened.’

Dr Fiona Sampson, a senior research fellow in emergency and urgent care at the University of Sheffield, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘My partner got pinged and rang 111 to find out when the contact was. However, he hadn’t left the house on the day of the alleged contact.

‘We later realised he had been working with his phone on the table, less than two metres away from our neighbour.’

Meanwhile Jason Delaney, 39, a bar owner from Alton, Hampshire, told the newspaper he too was informed he had come into contact with a Covid case despite not having met with anyone on the day in question. 

NHS guidance says the app’s bluetooth signal is reduced through walls but not blocked entirely, with people on the other side ‘less likely’ to receive an alert.

A Government spokesman said the number of people ‘pinged’ through walls was not large enough to be considered ‘an issue’, adding: ‘But we wouldn’t say that this never happens.’  

Business leaders have warned the ‘pingdemic’ was causing chaos for families, firms and hospitals and demanded changes on the NHS Covid-19 app to avoid a ‘self-inflicted economic wound’.    

NHS chiefs have also warned the system was making it ‘increasingly difficult’ to deliver routine care and said hospitals were now scrapping operations because so many workers were having to self isolate. 

Nearly 900,000 alerts telling people to quarantine were issued in the first week of this month following contact with a coronavirus victim.      

But rising numbers of people being forced into self-isolation has led unions to warn that factories across the country are on the ‘verge of shutting’ down.

It came as it was revealed a terrified 12-year-old girl hid behind her mother – afraid she was going to be arrested – when police turned up in numbers at her home to check that she was self-isolating.

Charlotte Crook had been at home following the rules after a positive coronavirus test and her shocked mother Kathryn yesterday branded the police response ‘overkill’.

Officers came to her home in what the family said was a riot van, prompting a ‘meltdown’ from the bewildered schoolgirl. 

Throughout the pandemic, police have faced accusations of heavy-handedness in enforcing Covid restrictions.

Up to 900 workers at car giant Nissan’s flagship plant in Sunderland are being made to self-isolate after they were pinged by the app, it was claimed today. 

And the National Care Association said care homes had ‘real staffing issues’ because of the app.

Bin rounds were also missed this week in Sutton Coldfield because of outbreaks of Covid and some hospital trusts have had up to 500 staff isolating at a time, forcing them to close beds and cancel operations.

Meanwhile the chief executive of Rolls-Royce, Torsten Muller-Otvos, said the car maker was on the ‘edge of a critical situation’ and a complete shutdown could not be ruled out.

He told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Cases have gone through the roof and it is causing havoc.’   

Elsewhere, Chris Hopson, of NHS Providers, said: ‘Trust leaders continue to share serious concerns about rising levels of staff isolation, which are now significantly impacting on their ability to deliver care.’ 

This week, health secretary Sajid Javid warned daily Covid infections were likely to top 100,000 after restrictions are lifted on Monday. That could force around half a million a day to self-isolate. 

Separate data from Test and Trace showed infections surged by 43 per cent last week after another 194,005 people tested positive for the virus. And Britain today recorded another 48,553 Covid cases in the biggest daily surge since January. 

People told to isolate by the app are under no legal requirement to do so because their identity is not tracked by the software. 

But fears have been raised that the software could cripple the nation’s already fragile economy this summer when restrictions are completely lifted. 

Businesses demanding a re-think of the rules have warned supermarket shelves may be left empty if tens of thousands of workers are told they must self-isolate in the coming weeks. 

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: ‘No one is advocating for Covid controls to go out the window and Unite’s number one priority remain the health and safety of our members.

‘But the reports Unite is receiving from our members and their employers are extremely worrying.

‘It is not an exaggeration to say factories are on the verge of shutting and that at some sites hundreds of staff are off work.’  

And councils have raised concerns over bin collections after Leeds, Bristol and Rochdale were forced to leave resident’s rubbish on the curbside after the app forced workers to stay at home.

Liverpool Council yesterday confirmed bin collection would be cancelled for two weeks in parts of the city. 

Cabinet member for neighbourhoods Abdul Qadir said: ‘Unfortunately due to Covid guidelines on isolation our refuse service team is severely depleted, and we need to prioritise our waste collections.

‘Our current programme is clearly not sustainable when one in four staff are unavailable to work.

‘We know the temporary suspension of collecting garden waste will be an inconvenience but it will allow us to ensure general waste and alleyway cleansing is kept to schedule.

‘Our recycling centres are also open late in the summer so residents have an option if they feel they can’t wait for the next green bin cycle.

‘After 19 July, the isolation guidelines change for those who have been double jabbed and this two week delay will give us time to re-organise the teams to ensure we can get back on track at the start of August.’  

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