Over 300 flu patients in intensive care but ministers confident NHS can cope

More than 300 people are in intensive care with flu, Government figures showed yesterday.

Data from the Department of Health for England revealed there were 302 people in intensive care beds. Most were thought to have swine flu. New figures on flu and swine flu deaths will be released by the Health Protection Agency tomorrow.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley briefed Cabinet colleagues on the flu situation and told them the NHS had plenty of capacity to deal with the upsurge in cases.

Later, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "He gave a report about the number of critical care beds being used for people with flu. While obviously... the number of flu cases has doubled in the last week, there is still plenty of capacity in the NHS.

"I think the figures on flu are quite similar to two years ago. They are a little worse than last year.

"I think there is a very good grip in the Department of Health on this issue. Andrew Lansley has a great grip over that department."

Mr Cameron said he did not know whether his wife Samantha had been advised of the swine flu risk to pregnant women earlier this year, when she was expecting their daughter Florence.