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NHS Confederation - NHS leaders will welcome banning social gatherings of more than six

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement that social gatherings over six are to be banned in England 

“The NHS is bracing itself for a second surge, hoping for the best that it will not happen, but already having to prepare for the worst. The numbers of daily infections are at their highest levels since May. We must do all we can to avoid the pattern seen in France and Spain with rising infections.

“NHS leaders will welcome the latest efforts to ban social gatherings of more than six and to give the authorities the powers to enforce this. Everyone in the health and care system has been dismayed by the failure of too many people to take social distancing seriously. This is about saving lives.

“We also want to see simple public health messages, preferably across the UK and the importance of communicating them, loudly, repeatedly and clearly cannot be overstated.

“The NHS faces much more pressure this winter with the added complications of having to work with significant infection control measures to contain the virus, including PPE and social distancing, both of which inevitably reduce productivity.

“Quite a lot of health and care staff are also exhausted. We know a lot more this time about how a second surge might impact on patient services and the service is in some ways better prepared, but given the possible impact of winter, flu, Covid and managing pent-up demand, we should be under no illusion about the challenges ahead  in hospitals, in community, primary care and mental health services and in social care 

“The NHS is doing all it can to restore cancer care, mental health services, routine operations and procedures, tests and all services that have been affected and we want to do that as quickly as possible. Our plea is for patience and understanding from both politicians and public as everyone does all they can to get the NHS back on its feet.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What has changed – 9 September

Original article link: https://www.nhsconfed.org/news/2020/09/pm-conference-response

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