More than 180 people are believed to have contracted Covid-19 in hospital at Oxford University Hospitals Trust, figures suggest.

Analysis of NHS England data shows that, between August 1 and March 21, 183 people were thought to have been infected with Covid-19 at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, while being treated in hospital for other conditions.

The highest number of such transmissions was recorded in January alone, when 73 people were believed to have been infected in hospital.

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Oxford University Hospitals Trust cared for 2,944 Covid-19 patients between August 1 and March 21 – meaning 6 per cent are thought to have contracted the disease in hospital.

This is below 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.

Rob Harwood, chairman of the British Medical Association's 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.

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"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.

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