Figures show amount of pressure on South Tyneside and Sunderland hospitals over Christmas: NHS facing ‘most precarious time ever’ as staff aim to free up beds for Omicron surge'

The level of pressure on our hospitals over Christmas has been revealed in the latest figures.

Hospitals across England were potentially dangerously busy over Christmas despite a significant drop in patient numbers.

Hospitals in the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust went past 85% for two days in the week running up to December 26.

Visiting has been suspended at South Tyneside and Sunderland hospitals.

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However, they were not above the national average for England and occupancy had dipped by almost 10% from the previous week.

The occupancy rate for the trust sat at 78.8% for the week to December 26, versus 88.1% for the previous week.

The latest figures show as of January 1 there were 50 Covid-19 patients reported as being cared for by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, with three on ventilators.

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Average occupancy was highest in the South West at 91% compared to a low of 84.6% in the North East and Yorkshire.

The trust with the highest average occupancy was at the Northampton General Hospital Trust, where it was 97.4%.

That was followed by Croydon Health Services Trust at 97.1%, and Whittington Health Trust at 96.6%, both in London.

Almost 30 trusts recorded above 85% occupancy on every day of the week.