Coronavirus hospital admissions in England have halved, says NHS boss

The number of people being treated for coronavirus in hospitals in England has halved since the peak of the pandemic.

Writing in the Daily Mail NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said that staff are treating around 9,000 patients a day as opposed to 19,000 a few weeks ago, while admissions have been falling by 2,000 each week.

He urged those suffering with non-Covid 19-related illnesses not to delay seeking treatment, adding that the health service would ‘be moving heaven and earth’ to restart key services.

But Sir Simon warned: ‘We are not out of the woods yet and have a difficult path ahead. Continued vigilance will be vital.’

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His comments come amid falling numbers in the daily death toll, with 384 confirmed on Friday.

However, the Government said the virus’s R number – which is the average number of people that will contract coronavirus from an infected person – has crept up to between 0.7 and 1.0.

The rise in the figure is thought to be driven by the virus spreading in care homes and hospitals rather than the wider community, but previous data put it at between 05 and 0.9.

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Sir Simon said the NHS had ‘so far risen to the challenge’, adding that ‘thanks to hard work and careful preparation and the public’s own action we did not see the health service overwhelmed’.

He said that while most want to see the NHS returning to business as normal there have been some welcome changes, with A&E visits for alcohol abuse falling by almost 60% in April.

The NHS boss added: ‘When pubs and clubs reopen, nobody wants to go back to drunk and disorderly behaviour swelling the numbers at busy A&Es.’

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