Nurses are reportedly flying in from Spain and Greece to help combat the Omicron variant in the UK as the NHS orders hospitals to discharge healthy patients.
NHS England has asked all hospitals to discharge any patients that can safely be discharged. According to The Daily Mail, nurses are being flown in from Spain and Greece to help battle the omicron variant. It is hoped that the nurses will be able to provide temporary support to patients who are moved into hotel “care sites” temporarily over Christmas.
NHS England has asked hospitals to safely discharge patients as soon as possible. NHS England said: “Those patients who do not need an NHS bed, because they do not meet the reasons to reside criteria, must be discharged as soon as practically possible.
“Working with local authorities, every system will need to put in place sufficient measures in order to reduce by half their own number of patients not meeting the reasons-to-reside criteria.
“A significant proportion of discharge delays are within the gift of hospitals to solve. Hospitals should work to eliminate avoidable delays on pathway zero, ie straight home without the need for social care support.
“Where necessary, this could include using personal health budgets, which has been successfully piloted in Cornwall and Lancashire; or use of hotel beds.”
NHS England added: “We encourage systems to explore surging community rehabilitation capacity and securing spare capacity from care homes.”
The Health Secretary has already warned that urgent appointments may have to be cancelled at hospitals as the number of omicron cases rises.
Mr Javid commented: “I acknowledge that our national mission comes with some difficult trade-offs. We are redeploying NHS staff away from non-urgent services.
“That means that, for the next two weeks, all primary care services will focus on urgent clinical need and vaccines, and some urgent appointments and elective surgeries may be postponed until the new year while we prioritise getting people the booster.
“These are steps that no Health Secretary would wish to take unless they were absolutely necessary, but I am convinced that if we do not prioritise the booster now, the health consequences will be far more grave in the months that lie ahead.”
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