NHS chief warns of hospital pressure as Johnson faces lockdown decision –

NHS chief warns of hospital pressure as Johnson faces lockdown decision – fr

Boris Johnson faces a tough decision to end England’s lockdown on June 21, with hospitals already under “worrying” pressure, a health chief has warned.

The continued spread of the Indian coronavirus variant has cast doubt on the ability to remove the restrictions, with ministers considering keeping some measures – such as the continued use of face masks and advice on working from home – in place.

NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said hospital bosses were concerned about the transmissibility of the B1617.2 variant and the large number of people who have yet to receive doses of the vaccine.
He warned that while hospitals did not expect to be swamped by a wave of Covid-19 cases, they were already stretched out going “hard” to deal with the backlog of cases built up during the pandemic and urgent care needs.
Hospitals are operating with reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions and the increase in the number of coronavirus patients will add to the difficulties by requiring the reconfiguration of services, he added.
But he said it was “very significant and important” that the evidence suggests that the success of the vaccination campaign means much lower levels of hospital admissions, serious illness and death than before.
“A significant number of Covid-19 hospital patients will have a negative impact on the recovery of the backlog of care,” he said.
“(The) current degree of pressure on hospitals is concerning, especially since we have seen a marked increase in summer demand in the two years leading up to Covid-19.
“But if, as the evidence above suggests, the success of (the) vaccination campaign means much lower levels of hospitalization, severe illness and mortality, even with (the) new variant, it is very meaningful and important. This means that there is a difficult decision to be made for June 21.
Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in UK / PA graphics
He also suggested the government should take into account the increased burden on hospitals in UK hot spots in the coming months with people not traveling abroad, saying a trusted leader on the south coast had warned that they would “struggle” to meet “significant additional demand”.
Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the government advisory group of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modeling (Spi-M), said there was still “a lot of uncertainty” around the June 21 date.


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