Elective activity levels were significantly lower in January than were achieved before Christmas, according to provisional NHS data seen by HSJ.
In the three weeks to 20 December, the NHS was reporting around 110,000 day cases and 18,000 ordinary admissions each week. But during January these totals dropped to around 85,000 day cases and 10,000 ordinary admissions per week. This equates to a reduction of 23% and 44%, respectively.
Regions that were more severely impacted by the third wave of coronavirus saw steeper reductions as covid pressures forced staff working in routine care services to be redeployed.
In London and the South East, day case activity reduced by around 40 per cent between the same periods, while ordinary admissions fell by around 57%.
Data for the Christmas fortnight was discounted, as activity always falls dramatically in this period.
However, the activity levels in January appear to be significantly higher than those reported in the first wave of coronavirus in the spring.
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Source: HSJ, 10 February 2021