The latest figures from NHS England show that the number of people in hospital with flu has increased by 10 times compared to last year.

Sky News reports that there were an average of 344 patients a day with flu in the hospital last week.

This is a large increase from the average of 31 that was seen at the beginning of December last year.

These figures come as the NHS warns about a 'tripledemic' this winter of having to deal with Covid, flu and record demand on the emergency services.

Bicester Advertiser: The NHS is warning about a 'tripledemic' facing the health organisation this winterThe NHS is warning about a 'tripledemic' facing the health organisation this winter (Image: PA)

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: "The first weekly data this year shows the considerable pressure faced by staff before we enter what is likely to be the NHS's most challenging winter ever.

"The figures also show that flu is unfortunately already with us and so the concerns that we had about the threat of a 'tripledemic' are very real. It has never been more important to get protected against the viruses ahead of winter so please book in for your jab if you are eligible if not already done so."

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Other figures from NHS England data revealed that nearly 360,000 NHS staff were absent from work last week through illness or self-isolating due to Covid.

Additionally, 13,179 beds a day were taken up last week by patients who no longer needed one, which is up a quarter from the 10,510 seen in the first week of December last year.

Sir Stephen clarified that the NHS had "extensive plans in place" to deal with these issues and that they continue to do "everything possible" to ensure people can leave the hospital when they are ready.