Responding to today’s Downing Street briefing, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“The public has shown its support for the NHS in respecting the Government’s social distancing measures and with its outpouring of admiration and thanks for our key workers. We must follow the science and continue this over the next three weeks.
“There will be a long-term cost but the NHS is proving that it is rising to the challenge so far. The system has so far been able to cope with the onslaught and there are enough hospital beds for patients, although we need to understand more about the prevalence of the disease in the community as this is not a challenge that hospitals face alone.
“This achievement is thanks to the monumental efforts of all NHS services coming together, alongside social care and other public services, to do what is best for their communities during the greatest challenge of our time.
“Our NHS will never be the same again and health leaders are telling us that they do not want this innovative and collaborative spirit to be lost.”
On the deaths of people with coronavirus from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, Layla added:
“Health leaders continue to raise their concerns with us about the virus seeming to disproportionately affect people from BME groups at both a population level and across NHS workers. We have raised this nationally and are pleased that this is now being investigated.”