More than 200 people are believed to have contracted Covid-19 in hospital at the trust that runs Basingstoke hospital, figures suggest.

Analysis of NHS England data shows that, between August 1 and March 21, 242 people were thought to have been infected with Covid-19 at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which also runs Andover and Winchester hospitals, while being treated in hospital for other conditions.

The highest number of such transmissions was recorded in November alone, when 76 people were believed to have been infected in hospital.

However, the figures are different to those provided by the trust, which show that at least 144 patients caught Covid in one of its hospitals in December alone, and 84 in January. 


Hampshire Hospitals Trust cared for 1,518 Covid-19 patients between August 1 and March 21 – meaning 16 per cent are thought to have contracted the disease in hospital.

This is above the 15 per cent average for all NHS acute trusts across the South East.

Across England, 40,670 people are thought to have been infected with Covid-19 in hospital since August – 15 per cent of all inpatients with the disease.

The British Medical Association said the NHS was already overstretched before the pandemic and warned bed capacity and staffing must be increased to control the spread of the virus in hospitals.

Rob Harwood, chairman of the BMA consultants committee, said: "The NHS went into the current pandemic underfunded, understaffed and overstretched, and the knock-on effects – such as limited bed capacity – has unfortunately meant that controlling the spread of Covid-19 within hospitals has been more difficult than necessary.

"For some time now, the BMA has been calling for the Government to urgently address issues that would go far in ensuring the hospital environment is as safe as possible.

“NHS staff have been working tirelessly under extraordinary conditions – there’s no doubt that the spread of the virus throughout hospitals will have only increased stress levels for both patients and staff."

He added that many doctors reported fearing catching the virus after seeing colleagues becoming seriously ill, and that ensuring staff and patients are protected would enable the NHS to tackle the backlog created during the pandemic.

An NHS spokesman said: "The ONS and other data conclusively demonstrate that the root cause of rising infection rates in hospitals is rising rates in the community.

"Since asymptomatic tests kits were made available for the first time by the Government’s Test and Trace programme in November, millions of staff have been tested helping to keep infections as low as possible, and all staff have been asked to rigorously follow Public Health England’s infection control guidance with hospital infection rates currently standing at around 4.2 per cent."