In 2020, hospitals treated a total of 242,307 patients who were confirmed to have Covid-19, compared with 101,956 in January 2021.
Despite the levels of Covid patients, the NHS completed more than six million elective treatments in 2020, and carried out more than two cancer procedures for every patient they treated for the virus. There were more than 18.7 million A&E attendances during the year.
Cancer services have continued to recover, the new figures show, with 25,199 people starting treatment for in December, 555 more than in the same month the previous year.
However, with hospitals still treating over a thousand more patients with Covid-19 in January than they did at the peak of the first wave, NHS leaders have urged the public to remain vigilant and follow the official advice on slowing the spread of the virus.
The NHS is currently treating more people with Covid-19 in critical care than hospitals did for all conditions this time last year.
NHS national medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said, “While the world’s attention has rightly been on Covid, NHS staff have worked extremely hard to provide essential services for those patients who need them, including 280,000 treatments for cancer patients along with millions of routine operations.
“Even in January, when hospitals admitted almost a third of all the Covid patients they have treated during the pandemic, they were treating twice as many patients with other conditions as they did for those with the virus over the month.
“But the NHS remains under significant pressure so it is vital that everyone continues to do all they can to stop the spread of the virus by staying at home and following the expert ‘hands, face, space’ guidance.”
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