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NHS Confederation responds to Downing Street press conference

Matthew Taylor responds to the latest Downing Street press conference on the Omicron variant.

Yesterday (Wednesday 15th December 2021):

  • A record 78,610 Covid cases have been reported
  • 611,976 jabs were given on Tuesday, including a daily high of 548,039 booster vaccines
  • Rt Hon Baroness Hallett has been confirmed as the chair of the COVID-19 public inquiry

In response, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:

“Health leaders will be fearful of the prospect of a wave of Covid as big or even bigger than what we have seen before after everything their teams have been through and witnessed over the last two years. They are working at lightning pace to jab people so they have maximum protection and we urge everyone to do what they can to reduce the spread and risk of illness. Everyone who takes up the offer of a vaccine or booster is potentially saving lives.

“There is a lot we still do not know about omicron but we do know cases are rising at an alarming rate, there are over 7,600 people in English hospitals with coronavirus, NHS staff absences owing to the virus are increasing, and winter is already expected to be a highly pressured time. Now is a time for extreme caution as our individual choices could affect the care others receive. Also, we must look at what further support we can give to health and care workers on the frontline if these absences rise further.

“We are relieved Parliament voted in favour of the Plan B interventions and expect the Government to keep a watchful eye on the evidence as it comes in, which should include being prepared to recall MPs over the Christmas break if firmer action needs to be taken in the national interest.

“Health leaders are focused on what could be an impending crisis but it is vital that we learn lessons from the collective response to the pandemic. We welcome the appointment of the Rt Hon Baroness Hallett as chair of the independent inquiry and look forward to contributing to this work on behalf of our members.”

Original article link: https://www.nhsconfed.org/news/nhs-confederation-responds-downing-street-press-conference

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