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Growth in covid hospital patients slows across the country as peak approaches

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The growth in covid positive hospital patients is rapidly slowing in every English region and appears to have stopped in the south east.

The weekly increase in covid inpatients across England fell to 8% yesterday, the first time it had dropped to single figures since 12 December. A week earlier, on 10 January, the growth rate stood at 23%.

There are now 33,352 covid hospital patients in English hospitals, an increase of 2,594 in the last seven days. The previous week had seen a rise of 5,801.

The weekly growth rate of covid positive hospital patients in the seven English regions currently ranges from 26% in the south west to zero in the south east. In every region, the growth rate is seven to 20 percentage points lower than recorded on 10 January.

London’s weekly growth rate is now three per cent and the east’s is 2%. There has been no substantive change in the south east total in the past week. It is likely covid patients will be seen to have peaked in these three regions between 13 to 15 January.

The slowing in the growth of national covid patient numbers means the total is likely to peak during the next seven days at a level lower than many had feared and expected. HSJ has seen internal NHS England projections from last week that saw growth continuing into February and total covid patient numbers rising well above 40,000, this now seem very unlikely.

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Source: HSJ, 18 January 2021

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