Parliamentary briefing: COVID-19
- The NHS has always been, and continues to be, there for COVID and non-COVID patients alike. During the first wave of the pandemic, there has unfortunately been considerable disruption for some patients. However, for every for every one COVID-19 patient in hospital there were two non-COVID patients being treated for other conditions. Recent claims therefore that the NHS was providing a COVID-only service during the first peak, are therefore untrue, unfair and potentially dangerous.
- Trusts are facing a number of obstacles to restarting services, with some trusts losing between 10% and 30% of their capacity. The next few months will be a challenging time for trusts, who are facing the possibility of a second wave of the virus as well as traditional winter pressures. However, frontline staff are working incredibly hard to rapidly restore services.
- Some staff are having to self-isolate in the absence of a test, putting yet more strain on the NHS workforce at a challenging time.
- Test and trace will become even more important as we reach winter, when it will be vital for patients and NHS staff to quickly tell the difference between those who have winter flu and those who have COVID-19. The symptoms for both are very similar, even to a trained eye. Being able to obtain tests locally and get rapid results is key to reducing transmission and relieving pressure on the health service.