Encouraging data shows Covid cases have fallen sharply in all but one of England’s 10 hospital trusts treating the most patients with the virus.
Bolton – which has the highest infection rate in the country after being heavily hit by the Indian variant – has seen a month-on-month increase, with 11 more hospitalised patients than a month ago.
All regions in the country have seen the number of coronavirus patients more than halve in the month to Tuesday last week.
NHS England data shows that on April 18, there were 861 people in hospital in England with the virus – but this had fallen sharply to 364 a month later.
The data raises hopes that Boris Johnson’s plans to ease Covid restrictions on June 21 can go ahead.
Of the 10 worst-hit hospital trusts, eight are in London or Greater Manchester.
The 10 NHS hospital trusts treating the highest number of patients
- King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (London) – 31, down from 47 a month ago
- Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (London) – 31, down from 58 a month ago
- Manchester University Foundation Trust (Greater Manchester) – 28, down from 72 a month ago
- St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (London) – 27, down from 50 a month ago
- Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (Greater Manchester) – 27, down from 38 a month ago
- Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust (Nottingham) – 26, down from 55 a month ago
- Barts Health NHS Trust (London) – 24, down from 54 a month ago
- Bolton NHS Foundation Trust (Greater Manchester) – 24, up from 13 a month ago
- University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust (Birmingham) – 23, down from 45 a month ago
- University College London Hospitals NHS Trust (London) – 20, down from 23 a month ago
Two London hospital trusts – King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – have the joint highest number of Covid patients, with 31 each.
But this is down from 47 and 58 a month ago, respectively.
Bolton currently has the highest infection rate in England, and is a hotspot for the Indian variant.
NHS England figures show that the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust was treating 24 Covid patients on May 18.
A month earlier, on April 18, that figure was 13.
But even with the rise in new cases, the number of patients in hospital is well below the figures from late last year, with the trust treating 162 Covid cases on November 12.
The number of people in hospital with Covid was above 100 every day in Bolton between December 31 last year and February 22 this year.
The number of Covid patients being treated in hospital by region
- North East and Yorkshire – 108, down from 273 a month ago
- Midlands – 69, down from 192 a month ago
- London – 67, down from 158 a month ago
- North West – 63, down from 152 a month ago
- East of England – 47, down from 167 a month ago
- South East – 38, down from 87 a month ago
- South West – 16, down from 70 a month ago
The government has said that hospitalisations and new infections need to fall in order for restrictions to be lifted.
The Prime Minister last week reiterated the UK still needed to be “cautious” in unlocking the UK from restrictions – but that he saw nothing in the data that would suggest “deviating” from the plan.
And he said he would give “as much information” as possible by the end of the month – which suggests an announcement this week.
He said: “We will let people know as much as we possibly can by the end of the month, about weddings for instance, all the details we’ll try and let people know by the end of the month exactly where we think we will be on June 21 – step 4.”
He added: “But at the moment I can’t see anything that makes me think we’re going to have to deviate from the roadmap – though clearly we must remain cautious in our approach.”