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NHS sets out plans to deal with the second phase of the pandemic

Published on 01/05/20 at 12:38pm
Photo by Francis Tyers

The NHS has set out plans to step up its non-COVID-19 services over the next six weeks.

A letter from NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens and NHS Chief Operating Officer Amanda Pritchard said that urgent outpatient appointments should go ahead, as should routine surgery.

The letter recommends that: heart-attack and stroke patients receive the care they need, to bring back cancer referrals and diagnostic appointments, restart elective surgery and protect and deliver cancer surgery and treatment by ensuring cancer hubs are working properly.

There are fears that many people have died during the lockdown either due to the lack of available treatment for non-COVID-19 illness or patients fearing going to hospitals.

The letter also says that NHS staff from black, Asian and ethnic minority background, who could be at a greater risk from the coronavirus, should be assessed as a precaution.

The letter concludes: “Looking forward, at the right time and following decision by Government, we will then need to move into the NHS’s phase three ‘recovery’ period for the balance of the 2020/21 financial year, and we will write further at that point.”

Last night, the British government announced that it was working on a comprehensive plan to restart the economy, reopen schools and help people get back to work. It is set to unveil this next week. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country was “past the peak” of cases but must not risk a second wave by easing lockdown restrictions too early.

Conor Kavanagh

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