DORSET hospitals have experienced a ‘spike’ in coronavirus admissions, as the NHS faces mounting pressure as a result of the pandemic.

More than 200 people were admitted to Dorset hospitals with coronavirus in the space of a week, latest figures revealed.

Data released by NHS England shows, between December 28 and January 3, 204 people were admitted to hospital with Covid-19.

Forty patients were admitted to the Dorset County Hospital, including 11 on December 30, and 22 were admitted to the Dorset Healthcare Trust.

At the University Hospitals Dorset Trust, 142 patients were admitted, including 29 on December 30, 23 on December 28 and 24 on January 2.

As of January 5, Dorset County Hospital had 35 patients, four on mechanical ventilation, and Dorset Healthcare Trust had 32 patients, none on mechanical ventilation.

The University Hospitals Dorset Trust had 205 coronavirus patients, 16 of which required mechanical ventilation.

Compared to a week before, 135 people were occupying hospital beds with Covid-19 in the county.

Between December 21 and December 27, 75 people were admitted to hospital with the virus, 21 on Boxing Day.

And Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wrote an open letter to the county’s residents, urging them to stay home to help protect the NHS.

The letter, which was signed by some of the county’s health bosses, said by staying home, transmission is reduced and the most vulnerable will be better protected.

It said: “We need your continued help, now.

“The new Covid-19 variant is spreading fast. We all need to play our part to stop the spread. The single most important actions we can all take now are to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We are urging all Dorset residents to play their part and please stay at home.

“Please help us to help you. We all have a role to play, whether looking after our own health or accessing services wisely and safely. It’s important to remember that your local pharmacists, GPs, urgent treatment centres and minor injuries units are still here for you if you need them.

“The health and care system in Dorset has been working extremely hard to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme to local people. We are delivering the vaccine in line with the national guidance which means those people who are most at risk will be invited first.

“While the rollout of the vaccine in Dorset is great news we must make sure all other measures are still being followed such as regularly washing hands, wearing face coverings and keeping a safe distance from people not in our household.”