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24 Nov 2022

Flu cases rise in England as hundreds of hospital beds filled ahead of winter

Flu cases rise in England as hundreds of hospital beds filled ahead of winter
Some patients are refusing sick notes because they feel they cannot afford not to work, a leading GP has warned (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)

Hundreds of hospital beds are being filled by flu patients, a ten-fold increase on last year, prompting fears the NHS faces a “triple-demic” this winter.

NHS data shows an average of 344 hospital beds in England each day were taken up by flu patients last week. This is more than 10 times the number seen in the first week of December last year.

NHS England medical director Stephen Powis has warned the NHS faces a “triple-demic” of flu, Covid and emergency care demand over the winter months. Ambulances, according to the data, lost more than 20,000 hours waiting outside of A&Es to offload patients.

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