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NHS Confederation responds to the ending of Covid restrictions

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, responds to the Prime Minister's comments about the ending of Covid restrictions.

In response to the Prime Minister revealing that all remaining Covid restrictions in England - including the legal rule to self-isolate - could end later this month, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:

"Health leaders are hopeful for a more ‘normal’ life after everything their teams have been through during the last two years and they are pleased that both hospitalisations and deaths linked to coronavirus continue to decline nationally. This is largely thanks to the brilliant vaccination efforts, the range of treatments and therapies provided by the NHS, and the immunity we have built up.

"However, with over 11,400 people in hospitals across the country right now with the disease and on top of that, around 1.3 million people believed to have Long Covid, leaders remain very aware that the virus is still here and that it will continue to present challenges to the NHS.

"Around 40% of NHS staff absences are due to Covid currently and so removing the self-isolation requirements could bolster capacity significantly at a time when the service is committed to tackling its waiting lists but we have to be mindful that it could also lead to higher rates of transmission, which could then lead to more admissions into hospital alongside more ill health in the community. The public deserves transparency about what the scientific advice says about self-isolation and if the legal requirements are removed, for clear communications to be given about it being everyone’s responsibility to behave in ways that won’t inadvertently spread the illness to others.

"The Government must take a cautious approach as we move onto the endemic stage of Covid, be guided by the evidence, engage the NHS appropriately, and be prepared to review its decision if new threats emerge."

Original article link: https://www.nhsconfed.org/news/nhs-confederation-responds-ending-covid-restrictions-0

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