The number of coronavirus patients in hospitals in the South West

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Credit: ITV

Hospitals in the South West have dealt with a significant rise in Covid-19 patients in a week.

Hospitals in Gloucestershire are the worst hit, with the latest available data showing a quarter of hospital patients in the county have tested positive for coronavirus.

The news comes as patients begin to be transferred from London and the South East to the South West, with critical care operating at "more than 100 per cent" in those hard hit areas.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to address the nation at 8pm on Monday 4 January and is expected to announce a third national lockdown.

The share of general and acute beds occupied by confirmed Covid-19 patients as of December 29 in the South West:

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: 26.4% (+4.1 % in seven days)

Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: 19.9% (-2.7% in seven days)

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust: 18.3% (+4.9% in seven days)

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust: 10.9% (-5.4% in seven days)

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust: 10.4% (-1.5% in seven days)

Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust: 9.5% (No change)

North Bristol NHS Trust: 9.1% (-1.7% in seven days)

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust: 8.1% (-1.6%)

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust: 4.8% (+0.2%)

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust: 3.3% (+0.8%)

The Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - which runs both Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal hospitals - is currently caring for 211 coronavirus patients.

That means more than a quarter of beds are occupied by patients with confirmed Covid-19 - with six of those patients requiring ventilation. 

Gloucestershire Royal hospital. Credit: ITV

Elsewhere, Southmead in Bristol has just under 10 per cent of its beds occupied by coronavirus patients. The latest figures show there are 83 patients with the virus and seven of them are on a ventilator. 

Numbers among patients at the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust - which runs the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Weston General Hospitals - are currently much higher.

They have 169 Covid-19 patients with eight on ventilation. That means coronavirus patients are taking up almost a fifth of their beds. 

Hospitals across the South West are now taking patients from the South East, which has seen a surge in coronavirus cases due to a new variant taking hold. 

The HSJ reports critical care is running at more than 100 per cent capacity across the south east and east of England.

There has been at least one report of a patient being transferred five hours from Kent to Plymouth. 

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