Responding to a statement in the House of Commons by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, on the government’s plan for managing COVID-19 over autumn and winter, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:
“Health leaders are all too aware that rising rates of coronavirus, alongside flu and other respiratory illnesses, will place an untenable demand on the NHS this autumn and winter at a time when additional investment has been given to support its recovery. Time will tell whether these measures will be enough, and the Government must not hesitate to act decisively if more drastic action is needed.
“The NHS will continue to do all it can to care for its patients, as it has done throughout this pandemic with over 80% of the adult population vaccinated, half a million people being checked for cancer last month, and nearly 28 million appointments taking place in primary care in July but already, its services are facing impossible pressure and frontline staff are worried about what lies ahead. This is particularly true given that there are 5.6 million known to be waiting for elective treatment currently and the Secretary of State has warned this could more than double.
“The need to keep one another safe and reduce disruption to our daily lives, as well as protect NHS services, is more important than ever. We can all play our part by getting vaccinated if eligible, wearing masks where appropriate, testing and self-isolating if required and following the other vital infection control measures.”