A small percentage of COVID-19 patients have to be admitted to a hospital intensive care unit (ICU). While there may be many COVID-19 patients in hospital, the number of ICU beds is limited. ICU beds are also needed for people who have had a serious accident, for example. So we need to know how many ICU beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients in order to see whether there are enough ICU beds for every patient needing one.
This article explains the 'Intensive care admissions by day' page on the dashboard. You will also find the most recent figures there.
The figure for intensive care admissions per day, presented on the top left of the page, is the average over the previous three days (not including today). Because it’s an average, the figure is expressed in decimals.
The screenshot on the right shows the total number ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. The percentage of ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients in relation to all occupied ICU beds is given in brackets. Please note: this percentage bears no relation to the maximum number of ICU beds available, because there is no set maximum. The total number of ICU beds depends on factors such as the availability of specially trained nurses and doctors. If they happen to be ill or self-isolating, fewer ICU beds will be available for patients.
The first graph on the page shows ICU admissions over time, going back to the start of the first wave in March 2020. The second wave is clearly visible.
At the bottom of the page is the graph showing ICU bed occupancy over time, going back to 1 June 2020. Though the first wave isn’t depicted, the second wave is clearly visible.