Hospital admissions with coronavirus (COVID-19)


The overall hospital admission rate of patients with confirmed COVID-19 in England continued to decrease to 5.97 per 100,000 people in the latest week (ending 22 January 2023). The intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency unit (HDU) admission rate continued to decrease slightly to 0.19 per 100,000 people (week ending 22 January 2023). The overall hospital admission rate remained similar across most age groups and decreased in most English regions in the latest week.

Overall hospital admissions, and ICU and HDU admissions presented in the Hospital admissions with COVID-19 section include all admissions with a positive COVID-19 test. This can include patients who tested positive for COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital or ICU and HDU for another reason.

We also present data on patients with COVID-19 as the primary reason for admission to hospital, and ICU and HDU, in the Hospital admissions for COVID-19 section.

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Hospital admissions with COVID-19

Overall hospital admissions involving COVID-19 and ICU and HDU admissions continued to decrease

Weekly overall COVID-19-positive hospital admission rates and intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency unit (HDU) admission rates per 100,000 people, England, week ending 9 August 2020 to 22 January 2023

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The overall hospital admission rate of patients with confirmed COVID-19 in England continued to decrease to 5.97 per 100,000 people in the week ending 22 January 2023. The intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency unit (HDU) admission rate continued to decrease slightly to 0.19 per 100,000 people in the week ending 22 January 2023.

The hospital admission rate for COVID-19-confirmed-patients is much lower now than earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, despite similar infection levels.

Last updated: 27 January 2023

Read more about this in UKHSA’s National flu and COVID-19 surveillance report

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Hospital admissions by region

Hospital admissions decreased in all English regions

Estimated coronavirus (COVID-19) positivity rates, overall COVID-19 positive hospital admission rates with intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency unit (HDU) admissions, and number of deaths, by English regions, week ending 9 December 2022 to 22 January 2023

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In the week ending 22 January 2023, overall hospital admissions of patients with confirmed COVID-19 decreased in all English regions except the East Midlands, the South East and South West where they remained similar.

Trends in ICU and HDU admission rates remained similar in all regions except the East Midlands, where they slightly decreased in the week ending 22 January 2023. London continued to have the highest ICU and HDU admission rate.

The infection rate continued to decrease in all English regions in the week ending 17 January 2023. The South West had the highest infection rate (2.01%), while London had the lowest (1.35%).

Deaths involving COVID-19 increased in all English regions, except in the East Midlands where they decreased, in the week ending 13 January 2023.

There is a delay between a person becoming infected with COVID-19 and being admitted to hospital or dying, and this is reflected in the lags in trends. Deaths figures are the number of deaths registered in the time period. The number of deaths in each region will be affected by population size and do not necessarily reflect the rate of deaths.

The data used in the chart come from our Coronavirus Infection Survey, UKHSA's National flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports, and our Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional.

Last updated: 27 January 2023

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Hospital admissions by age

Hospital admissions remain highest for those aged 85 years and over

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Overall hospital admission rates for patients with confirmed COVID-19 in England decreased for those aged 0 to 4 years and those aged 65 years and over, and remained similar for those aged 5 to 64 years in the week ending 22 January 2023. Trends in ICU and HDU admission rates varied in the week ending 22 January 2023.

In the week ending 22 January 2023, overall hospital admissions were highest for those aged 85 years and over, and lowest for children aged 5 to 14 years. This has been consistent throughout the coronavirus pandemic. ICU and HDU admission rates were highest for those aged 85 years and over, and lowest for those aged 15 to 24 years. Although overall hospital admission rates have consistently been highest in the oldest age group, the highest ICU and HDU admission rates have varied across age groups.

Last updated: 27 January 2023

Read more about this in UKHSA’s National flu and COVID-19 surveillance report

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Hospital admissions for COVID-19

Less than 4 in 10 patients in hospital in England with COVID-19 in December 2022 were being treated primarily for COVID-19

Percentage of patients in acute hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 who are being treated primarily for COVID-19, by English regions, 18 June 2021 to 31 December 2022

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Between June and December 2021, patients being treated primarily for COVID-19 accounted for around three-quarters (75%) of patients in acute hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 in England. The proportion being treated primarily for COVID-19 started to decline at the end of 2021 and has consistently been less than 4 in 10 since May 2022. The proportion of patients being treated primarily for COVID-19 was 36% in December 2022. This reflects the change from Delta being the dominant variant to Omicron being the dominant variant. For patients with confirmed COVID-19 where it was not the primary diagnosis, COVID-19 may or may not have contributed to the reason for admission.

The proportion of patients being treated primarily for COVID-19 varies across English regions. In December 2022, London continued to have the lowest proportion of patients with COVID-19 being treated primarily for COVID-19 (23%). The South West continued to have the highest proportion and is the only region with more than half of patients with COVID-19 being treated primarily for COVID-19 (57%). This has been consistent since March 2022.

Between November and December 2022, the proportion of patients with COVID-19 being treated primarily for COVID-19 increased slightly for the Midlands (35% to 38%) and decreased slightly for the North West (33% to 30%). For all other English regions, the proportion of patients with COVID-19 being treated primarily for COVID-19 remained similar.

Regional differences may be partly explained by the age of the populations. The South West has the oldest population, with around 1 in 9 people aged 75 years or over. In comparison, around 1 in 19 people living in London are aged 75 years or over. Older people generally are at higher risk from COVID-19, therefore more likely to be treated in hospital primarily for COVID-19 than younger people.

Last updated: 10 January 2023

Read more in NHS England’s weekly publication of COVID-19 admissions and bed occupancy data

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Further information


Data on overall hospital admissions, and ICU and HDU admissions presented here are collected by the UK Health Security Agency and available on the GOV.UK coronavirus dashboard and national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports. This data come from the Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) Watch surveillance system, which monitors the number of patients with confirmed flu and COVID-19 admitted to hospital and critical care units (ICU and HDU) in England. These data are provisional and subject to revision, and previous estimates may be updated in subsequent weeks.

To find out more about hospital admissions data visit our more information page.

More information on hospitals and health is available on each of the relevant nation's websites: Public Health Agency (PHA) for Northern Ireland, Public Health Scotland (PHS), and Public Health Wales (PHW).

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