NHS Confederation - HSIB report illustrates challenges of COVID-19 spread in hospitals

29 Oct 2020 10:16 AM

Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, responded to the HSIB report on COVID-19 transmission in hospitals 

“This report reflects the concerns that we constantly hear from health leaders across the NHS, who are incredibly committed to meeting the challenges of infection spread in hospital. They tell us that guidance, especially around PPE, has been variable; healthcare buildings and infrastructure need investment and modernisation to meet new infection control requirements; access to testing for both patients and staff must be improved; and staff, in addition to being at risk of COVID-19 infection, are facing exhaustion and burnout, which could worsen still further if nosocomial transmission is not controlled.

“We know NHS staff are doing all they can to treat and protect patients, and have demonstrated extraordinary resilience and fortitude, but challenges are to be expected during a global crisis, the likes of which the health service has never faced in its more than 70-year history. We were therefore glad to see the focus is rightly and productively on improvement and learning, rather than blame.

“The recognition of the impact on staff mental and physical wellbeing of working through a pandemic is also welcome. Our recent survey of more than 250 NHS leaders found nine in ten are concerned about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of their staff, which will need ongoing attention, investment and action.

“We will continue to work with our members to support them through the crisis and look forward to seeing prompt action from the Government, NHS England and NHS Improvement, and other bodies cited, in response to this report’s recommendations.”