Number of Covid patients in Norfolk hospitals surges past 500

The number of Covid patients in Norfolk's three largest hospitals has fallen for the first time since September

The total number of hospital patients who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Norfolk has now passed 1,000. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/Sonya Duncan

The number of patients being treated for Covid in Norfolk’s hospitals has gone up by more than a third in the last week. 

The latest NHS data up to January 5 shows 508 virus patients were in hospital beds in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn. It has risen by 131 since last week.

Coronavirus patients now make up more than a quarter of all patients in the county’s hospital beds, leaving just 143 beds free. 

Last week 377 people were being treated for the virus in hospital with 18 in intensive care. 

That number of people being treated in intensive care has now reached 25, according to the latest data.

Our map below shows the pressure the virus is putting on hospitals across the region. 

Nationally, 80,810 hospital beds are occupied, with 21,693 taken up by virus sufferers. In all, 2,378 people are being treated in intensive care across the country. 

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At the NNUH 60 critical care beds have been added to cope with the extra strain. Medics there said the sheer number of patients admitted to hospital has become "horrendous" and urged people to take the guidance more seriously. 

One NHS worker said: "It's just horrendous, it's like a war zone. We're all anxious. People have to know and be more aware and take it more seriously. Staff are in tears

"It is the sheer number [of patients]." 

The latest figures show 244 coronavirus patients in beds at the NNUH, compared to 168 last week. The hospital trust is reporting 90pc of beds are occupied. 

At the James Paget, the number of Covid patients has almost doubled to 92 from 50 the previous week.  

Meanwhile numbers at the Queen Elizabeth have grown from 159 to 172, leaving 95pc of the hospital's beds occupied. 

Across the East of England region, more than half of all beds are occupied by Covid patients.  

East of England ambulance control centre in Norwich. Call handler. Photo: Bill Smith

East of England ambulance control centre in Norwich. Call handler. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

Some hospitals in the region are running perilously close to being overwhelmed, with the Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at 99.5pc capacity. Five other hospitals in the East of England are running at more than 95pc capacity. 

The map above uses data released by individual hospital trusts to show the pressure being faced by medics across the East of England region. 

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