NHS England Hospitals Update – Jan ’21

3 min read


A BIG NHS Hospital Data dropped happened today. Worth getting familiar with the England & Trust Level insights 👇🏼

1️⃣ Bed Use

117K out of 132K beds are occupied across NHS England Hospital Trusts. This time last year, we had 122K out of 142K beds in use.

We have 28K beds in use by PCR-Positive patients, compared to 19K at the epidemic peak.

Net-net, we are 89% occupied, versus 86% seasonal average, and nowhere near bursting at a country level.

PCR-Positive patients are not effecting the overall bed use, which has been slowly recovering from the Mar-July non-COVID shutdown.

That said, as covered in the “hospital pressure” insight post a few days ago, the NHS is under intense pressure due to a myriad of other reasons.

2️⃣ Discordance

Look at the escalating PCR-Positive bed use in 1, and see no scaling correlation whatsoever to COVID-related deaths or Excess Mortality (against 5YT avg).

Considering this is a much more deadly and infectious time of the year, this is a telling observation.

The sheer scale of PCR testing in the community and in hospital is what is driving this data divergence.

Remember, a PCR test does not test for Disease, SARS-COV2 or an Active Infection. It simply tests for 2 (previously 3) small fragments of RNA, and is subject to test and processing FP’s. 

A great many PCR-positives will not have an active COVID-19 infection, and some of these falsely positive people will show in hospital for other reasons. 

3️⃣ Staff Absences

Overall NHS England staff absences is up to an alarming 100K, with 50K of those off due to COVID Test & Trace isolation mandates.

This is one of the significant contributors to the hospital pressure being experienced right now.

If interested, the below NHS linked file reports absences at a Trust Level, and through time.

4️⃣ Admissions & Discharges

Community Admissions continue to escalate, again due to the above dynamic. Also, due to huge community testing, more people as a % are being admitted as PCR-Positive vs inpatient diagnosis now than in Spring.

These are the three drivers behind these numbers:

  1. People who could manage at home are admitting themselves to hospital because of the fear of COVID
  2. People admitting to hospital to unrelated acute health issues
  3. Severe COVID-19 (or other ILI) Respiratory Infection

Again, you can get a Trust level breakdown on admissions, discharges and inpatient diagnoses within the linked NHS file below. You can also see these categories broken down by age groups. 

NHS England Hospital Update Jan 2021

NHS England Trust Insights

As well as the above, we also have the very freshest publicly available data from today on NHS Hospital Trust occupancy – General & PCR-positive #covid

Search for you local NHS Trust here: https://adapnation.io/covid-insights/#h-nhs-england-insights

NHS England COVID Hospital Trust Data - 14th Jan

England is down 10K beds from this time last year, but more temporary capacity has been created in Dec/Jan and there is a block contract penned by Govt with Private Hospitals for some extra bed access if needed. This is not factored in to the 132K stated.

Even with this lower Bed Stock, NHS as a whole is tracking at about the same levels as expected for this time of the year. Running at 83-90% occupancy is both planned for and targeted to make full use of capacity and see as many waiting list patients as possible.

➖Capacity – as reported end of Sept 2020.

➖Expected Total & ICU Bed Use – data from this time last year

➖G&A & ICU Use – leveraging weekly data on available and occupied beds.



All graphs from the COVID+ Insights Dashboard. All NHS data is up to date based on UEC, Weekly COVID, Monthly COVID & Quarterly Capacity NHS reports.

Graphs are interactive, the data is downloadable, and source data is linked.

Find the latest NHS COVID Hosp Activity reports and the post on NHS Hospital Pressure in the comment below 👇🏼

AdapNation COVID+ Insights
COVID+Insights Dashboard


The Original Facebook Post

Enjoyed the read?

Comment below, and check out our longer-form Articles, our shorter Micro Blog sections, grab Healthy Meal Ideas from AdapNation Food Diary, and Free Gym Workout Plans at #HyperWorkouts.

Leave a comment