More than 100,000 people were waiting for ‘urgent’ priority two operations in late January, as planned care rates plummeted amid the covid third wave, according to NHS data seen by HSJ.
However, the rate of elective procedures carried out last month appears to have been a lot higher than in the spring wave of coronavirus, despite there being more covid patients in hospital this time.
In the three weeks to 20 December, the NHS was reporting around 110,000 day cases and 18,000 planned overnight admissions each week. But during January these totals dropped to around 85,000 day cases and 10,000 planned overnight 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% between the same periods, while elective overnight admissions fell by around 57%.
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Source: HSJ, 10 February 2021