Responding the latest Downing Street press conference, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“The Prime Minister has made absolutely clear this is a critical time for the NHS and what happens next could have a huge impact on healthcare services and on people that need to access them. We need the public to continue to do what they can to follow the rules and help safeguard the NHS.
“In recent weeks, the health service has moved mountains to bring back services for as many people as possible. It has done so despite having exhausted and stretched staff and facing growing coronavirus cases, a backlog of non-urgent treatments and reduced capacity due to infection control measures. The Government was right to highlight it is open for business. NHS leaders and patients alike really want to keep it that way, and continue that progress.
“Over the coming days and weeks, if cases spiral then the ability to continue to bring back services could be compromised and the NHS will feel the squeeze, not just in hospitals but in other areas such as primary care and community services, which are particularly important for supporting people in or near their homes and with rehabilitation.
“As the NHS and its partners step up once again, leaders of these services are clear that we will need support to lock-in the lessons we learned from the first surge about letting local leaders lead and supporting them with the resources they need.”