Immediate Covid threat in England is being ignored, says NHS leaders

Valneva ships first doses of COVID-19 vaccine on April 6th

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The effects are already being felt.

Infections in England are at record highs and the NHS waiting list recently exceeded over six million.

Now the NHS Confederation has called for the government’s living with Covid plans to be reconsidered.

Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor said: “The brutal reality for staff and patients is that this Easter in the NHS is as bad as any winter.”

Taylor continued: “Instead of the understanding and support NHS staff received during 2020 and 2021, we have a government that seems to want to wash its hands of responsibility for what is occurring in plain sight in local services up and down the country.

“No 10 has seemingly abandoned any interest in Covid whatsoever.”

The government has been criticised for its decision to remove all Covid restrictions amidst a lack of evidence for the decision and concerns over rising case rates.

Taylor said NHS leaders “feel abandoned… and they deserve better”.

In recent weeks, the pressure on the NHS has been immense not only with the rise in case numbers but with the impacts of twin variants of the Omicron variant, BA.2 and XE, being felt.

These variants are more transmissible than the Omicron variant that spread through the country in late 2021.

Furthermore, vaccine immunity from the third dose is waning too.

In response, those who are eligible are being asked to come forward for their fourth dose.

Of these vaccinations Taylor said: “We need to renew the call for people to have vaccinations and booster vaccinations. There are still a lot of people out there who are not up-to-date with the vaccinations they could have.”

Not only have all restrictions been lifted, free testing for the general population has also ended.

The government has said that NHS staff can still get free testing, but there’s a caveat to this statement; the NHS is still having to foot the bill for these tests.

“We need to resource the health service… we’re behaving as if this pandemic is over, but it is not over,” added Taylor.

For many the pandemic will never feel over, particularly those with long Covid.

Over one-and-a-half million people have the condition that causes a range of symptoms from the irritating to the debilitating.

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