NHS CHIEF WARNS OF HOSPITAL PRESSURES AS JOHNSON FACES DECISION ON LOCKDOWN
Boris Johnson faces a difficult decision about whether to end England’s lockdown on June 21 with hospitals already under “worrying” pressure, a health chief has warned.
The continued spread of the Indian coronavirus variant has cast doubt on the ability to scrap restrictions, with ministers considering plans to keep some measures – such as the continued use of face masks and guidance on working from home – in place.
NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said hospital bosses were concerned about the transmissibility of the B1617.2 variant and the large number of people who have still to receive doses of the vaccine.
He warned that although hospitals were not expecting to be overwhelmed by a surge of Covid-19 cases, they were already stretched by going “full pelt” on dealing with the backlog of cases built up during the pandemic and urgent care needs.
Hospitals are operating under reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions and increased numbers of coronavirus patients will add to difficulties by requiring wards to be reconfigured, he added.