Hospitalisations Continue to Decrease #Covid Weekly Update

Covid, although no longer a pandemic, is still seriously impacting the lives of many and of hospital services. Public Health Scotland published its weekly update in the national respiratory infection and COVID-19 statistical report (8th May 2023). The reliability of many of the statistics, however, due to the lack of testing has compromised much of the data.

What can be better monitored is how Covid is impacting our hospitals. This is a measure of severe disease and captures pressures facing NHS hospitals. In turn this affects other health services.

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital is an indicative measure of the pressure on hospitals, as these patients still require isolation from other patients for infection control purposes.

In the latest week ending 07 May 2023, there were 190 new COVID-19 admissions to hospital.

graph showing hospital admissions due to Covid in Scotland since January 2021
Trend of COVID-19 hospital admissions in Scotland

There were 19 COVID-19 admissions (1.9%) per 1,000 emergency admissions. The 80+ age group had the highest rate of COVID-19 admissions (3.1%) and the 40- 49 age group had the lowest rate (0.3%).

The average length of stay in hospital was just over three days, however, for older people that could be much longer.

There will be an update to the definition for COVID-19 hospital occupancy (recently confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospital). This is due to changes to national guidance for the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) precautions for SARS-CoV-2 positive patients. Effective from 08 May 2023, the measure will reduce the maximum number of days a patient will be categorised as a COVID-19 inpatient from 28 days to 10 days. The data will be presented in our next publication on 18 May 2023.

In the week ending 07 May 2023, on average there were 594 patients in hospital with COVID-19 which is a 18.1% decrease from the previous week ending 30 April 2023, when on average there were 725 patients.

graph showing hospital beds occupied in Scotland
Number of beds occupied with COVID-19 in hospital each Sunday in Scotland from 17 September 2020 to 30 April 2023

There were 10 new admissions to ICU, no change from the previous week (30 April 2023) when there were 10 admissions. There were 194 patients in ICU, of which 5.7% (11 patients) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 result.

Vaccinations : a total of 282,002 COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to people currently resident in Scotland. In the latest
week ending 07 May 2023, 52,603 COVID-19 vaccines were administered. Among care home residents for older adults, 85.4% have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the first weeks of the spring programme.

RNA Monitoring of Waste Water in Orkney (Kirkwall) has not been published since 6th April 2023.

The COVID-19 pandemic has direct impacts on health as a result of illness, hospitalisations, and deaths due to COVID-19. However, the pandemic also has wider impacts on health, healthcare, and health inequalities. Reasons for this may include:

  • Individuals being reluctant to use health services because they do not want to burden the NHS or are anxious about the risk of infection.
  • The health service delaying preventative and non-urgent care such as some screening services and planned surgery.
  • Other indirect effects of interventions to control COVID-19, such as changes to employment and income, changes in access to education, social isolation, family violence and abuse, changes in the accessibility and use of food, alcohol, drugs and gambling, or changes in physical activity and transport patterns.

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