NHS under strain even before winter peak, boss warns

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NHS, hospital waiting times, waiting lists. NHS Proivders, Europe, Covid-19
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Chris Hopson, Chair of NHS Providers today warned that the NHS is under strain even before the winter peak starts. Referring to growing concerns about waiting times he described the situation as unprecedented for this time of year.

In issuing the warning Hopson said that the health service is experiencing “very, very high levels of people coming into accident and emergency departments.” This has put “the ambulance services under real pressure”.

Speaking on TV he said “Wherever you look, right the way across the NHS – be it in mental health services, be it in hospitals – the NHS is under an unprecedented degree of pressure for this time of year and that is before the traditional winter peak. We know that the NHS tends to feel the most pressure in early to mid-January so there is a high degree of concern.”

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Hopson in referring to the number of people going to hospital added: “Obviously this is what the NHS is here for.  We’re here to provide the best quality of care to everybody who needs it and our staff are working absolutely flat out to ensure that we deliver in line with the NHS constitution because that’s what we’re here for.”

He continued that it was anyone’s guess as to how long waiting lists could become. The NHS is under strain already and we have yet to experience the worst of winter and clearly the Covid-19 news from Europe is worrying despite the high levels of vaccination.


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