A letter sent to heads of all major NHS England bodies has explained how it will manage the next phase of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter has three aims:
- update on the latest COVID national alert level
- set out priorities for the rest of 2020/21
- outline financial arrangements heading into Autumn as agreed with Government
The letter explains:
“COVID remains in general circulation and we are seeing a number of local and regional outbreaks across the country, with the risk of further national acceleration. Together with the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England (PHE) we will therefore continue to keep the situation under close review, and will not hesitate to reinstate the Level 4 national response immediately as circumstances justify it. In the meantime NHS organisations will need to retain their EPRR incident coordination centres and will be supported by oversight and coordination by Regional Directors and their teams.”
NHS England’s priorities are laid out clearly:
“Our shared focus is on:
- Accelerating the return to near-normal levels of non-COVID health services, making full use of the capacity available in the ‘window of opportunity’ between now and winter
- Preparation for winter demand pressures, alongside continuing vigilance in the light of further probable COVID spikes locally and possibly nationally.
- Doing the above in a way that takes account of lessons learned during the first COVID peak; locks in beneficial changes; and explicitly tackles fundamental challenges including: support for our staff, and action on inequalities and prevention.”
Extensive detail is given in the letter to expand on the points raised above. Find out more by downloading the letter here.