Norovirus cases up 50% as NHS pressure significant

Source: NHS England  16.3.23

Commenting on the NHS weekly winter operational update for the week ending 12 March 2023, NHS National Medical Director, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, said: “Last week was a clear reminder that, even as we head into Spring, pressure on NHS staff remains significant with almost 5,000 more patients in hospital beds every day last week compared to this time last year, 10% more 111 calls answered than the week before, and we’ve seen a surge in norovirus with cases in hospital increasing by 50% over the past week.

“We know there has been little let-up for staff this week with some hospitals experiencing their busiest Monday of the year while strike action continues to present major challenges to hospitals.

“Despite this, the NHS is continuing to deliver progress against its elective recovery plan, with the number of people waiting over 18 months cut by over 9,000 in January compared to the previous month.

“So, it is important that people continue to come forward for the care they need by using 999 in an emergency or using 111 online for other conditions.”


  •  There were an average of 95,340 patients in hospital beds in the week 6 to 12 March 2023 compared to 90,391 in the same week in 2022.
  • There were an average of 13,367 patients in hospital beds who no longer meet the criteria to reside in the week 6 to 12 March 2023 compared to 11,619 in the same week in 2022.
  • There were 840 adult norovirus cases in hospital in this week in 2023 compared to 551 the week before.
  • There were 333,778 NHS 111 calls answered in this week in 2023 compared with 297,586 in the previous week.

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