Tuesday 12 April 2022 7:05 AM UTC
LONDON April 12: NHS bosses have warned the UK Government that it needs to bring back two Covid rules to avoid a “brutal” Easter.
The NHS Confederation urged ministers to reinvigorate its public information campaign on Covid-19, including a renewed focus on mask wearing and limiting indoor mixing. The membership body, which represents healthcare organisations, warned that very high rates of Covid-19 infections are having a “major impact” on the health service, which is facing pressures as they would in a “bad winter” well into spring.
However, Downing Street has rejected the call, and said there is “no change” to its living with covid plan.
A No 10 spokeswoman said: “Thanks to a combination of vaccination and treatment and our better understanding of the virus we are now able to manage it as we do with other respiratory infections, so that remains the case with our approach. But obviously we continue to monitor any changes in the behaviour of the virus.”
Matthew Taylor, chief exec of the NHS Confederation, said: “The brutal reality for staff and patients is that this Easter in the NHS is as bad as any winter. He told BBC Breakfast: “Although we’re much better at dealing with Covid, with fewer people dying and ending up in intensive care, it is still a disease that puts immense pressure on the health service.
A spokesperson for Department of Health and Social Care said: “The success of our vaccination and antivirals programmes alongside increased public understanding on managing risk means we can start living with Covid – with public health guidance and free testing focused on groups who are most at risk from the virus.
“We are incredibly grateful to NHS staff and we have set out our plan to tackle the Covid backlog and deliver long term recovery and reform, backed by our record multibillion-pound investment over the next three years.
“We are on track to deliver 50,000 more nurses by 2024, there are over 4,300 more doctors compared to last year, and we are investing hundreds of millions in growing the workforce.”
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