A FIFTH of coronavirus patients at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay have contracted the virus in hospital since lockdown ended last year, figures suggest.

The British Medical Association said understaffing and underfunding nationally, coupled with poor infrastructure across many hospitals, have made it harder to control the infection.

Analysis of NHS England data shows there were 1,268 Covid-19 admissions at University Hospitals Of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust between July 19 2021 and January 16 – the latest date for which data is available.

Of those, 1,043 were infections that occurred in the community, meaning 225 people may have caught Covid while being treated for other conditions over the period – 18 per cent of patients.

In the week to January 16, 120 new Covid patients were being cared for at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay, with 45 thought to have contracted the virus in hospital.

Across England, 17,900 patients may have caught coronavirus in hospital since July – 12 per cent of those treated for the virus during this time.

Around 2,700 of these infections are believed to have happened in the week to January 16 – 22 per cent of newly admitted Covid patients.