• Stuart McDonald

NHS England Update - 14 Jan

Data Update | Stuart McDonald and John Roberts

We thought it might be helpful to share our regular Twitter updates here, since not all of you are Twitter users and the blog format allows us to add some more comment. Please let us know if you have any feedback on these updates.

We typically provide updates on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. All updates use NHS England data (so they don't cover the rest of the UK) and include:

  • latest hospital admissions with COVID-19

  • estimate of R based on hospital admissions

  • latest COVID-19 hospital deaths data, including an estimate of deaths which have occurred but not yet been reported

  • latest vaccinated totals, including split by age (Thursday's only)

Today's hospital admissions update shows numbers still increasing nationally, but much less rapidly than they had been recently. We are way past the first wave peak and today's data showed more than 4,000 COVID admissions on a single day for the first time. The regional picture is important to understand these national trends, and we cover it below.

Our method for estimating R based on hospital admissions is described in our bulletin "Is the UK experiencing a second wave" (link below). Because we are measuring the change in admissions over time, and we need to smooth the data, the last date we can estimate is actually a couple of week back from the current date. R has been at 1.3 but is falling sharply, presumably in response to tighter restrictions. It is currently at 1.1 but should continue to fall (the smoothing means our estimate changes less sharply than may actually be the case).

Deaths obviously lag behind hospital admissions so the deceleration in admissions is not yet reflected in hospital deaths. Each of the last few days has around 600 deaths reported so far. Our estimate of "incurred but not reported deaths" suggests that these are continuing to rise sharply, approaching 700 a day which we haven't seen since April.

Regionally the hospital admissions picture is quite mixed, both in terms of the number and the rate of growth. London and the South East have been falling in recent days (though numbers are still up slightly week-on-week). Admissions have flattened in the East, hopefully preceding a fall. Admissions in the Midlands are high and have increased by 35% week-on-week. In the North East and Yorkshire they are fairly low, with 27% growth. The most worrying growth rates are in the North West and the South West (though numbers are still low in the South West).

Good to see progress with the vaccine rollout with around two million people having received at least one dose in England by 10 January. Around half the people vaccinated have been aged 80 plus, which should soon begin to influence death and hospital admission numbers. The other half of the vaccines have been given to younger people, presumably mostly NHS and Social Care workers.


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