NHS Providers response to easing of Plan B restrictions

19 January 2022

Commenting on the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"It is right that the government makes its decisions on restrictions based on all of the information it has to hand. We know that it has to balance a number of priorities, including the need to support the NHS to care for patients.

"Trust leaders have been encouraged that the number of people catching COVID-19 is now falling nationally, and the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital is stabilising.

"However, there are still nearly 20,000 COVID-19 patients in hospital, at a time when the NHS is already at full stretch and contending with the toughest winter on record.

"There are also regional variations in the number of COVID-19 hospitalisations, with the numbers increasing in the north east and Yorkshire, while decreasing in London.

"This means that some trusts tell us they are expecting their peak later this week, or possibly early next. There are also indications that it takes longer for hospitalisations to reduce than infection rates.

"That's why it's important that there is recognition that this surge isn't over, and that the health service is still operating under extremely challenging circumstances.

"So the government must continue to examine the evidence closely and make calculations based on the future level of risk, including of a second Omicron surge."

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