The number of patients in hospital following a positive Covid-19 test has fallen in both Cornwall and Devon in the last week – at the same time as the region's Nightingale Hospital has taken in its first patients.

NHS England figures show that as of Tuesday morning (December 1), there were 255 patients across Devon and Cornwall, in hospital after a positive Covid-19 test. This compares to 272 as of November 24.

There were five at the Royal Cornwall Hospital (down from nine) and six in Cornish Partnership Trust hospitals (unchanged).

Patient numbers have also decreased at the Royal Devon and Exeter, Derriford Hospital and Torbay Hospital – the latter for the third week running – but there has been a rise in patient numbers at the North Devon District Hospital.

It's in the same week as the Nightingale Hospital in Exeter admitted its first patients, with 20 occupying beds as of Tuesday, having opened on Thursday, November 26.


The number of patients in Mechanical Ventilation beds has fallen as well, dropping from 21 down from 19 in the region overall and none in Cornwall. Two of the patients are in Torbay Hospital, five at the RD&E, and six North Devon District Hospital and at Derriford Hospital.

The figures show the amount of patients in hospital following a positive Covid-19 test who are currently occupying a bed.

But not every patient would necessarily have been admitted to hospital due to Covid-19, with a number of patients either contracting the virus inside the hospital, or being admitted for unrelated reasons but subsequently testing positive asymptotically when given routine tests.


Health bosses had previously said that it would not be unlike the end of November when the impact of the second lockdown would begin to have an effect on hospitals in the region.

Across the wider south west, admissions to hospital are down 20 per cent on the previous week, with bed occupancy by Covid patients down ten per cent.

Hospital admissions in theory should continue to fall until the end of December as the impact of the easing of the second lockdown on December 2 won’t begin to affect hospitals under the end of the month, due to the lag between infections, cases, and people falling ill enough to need hospital treatment.