There has been calls for the government to bring restrictions “without delay” as “tens of thousands” of NHS staff are off sick.
Multiple hospitals across England have declared critical incidents as the NHS is “in a state of crisis” due to staff absences and a rise in cases.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) penned a letter to the Health Secretary Sajid Javid warning the NHS cannot “afford” the level of staff absences and they have called for a more “cautious approach” to introduce restrictions.”
The RCN have questioned how Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have different restrictions in place compared to England and have said this is “confusing and concerning.”
“It is confusing and concerning that the different UK governments have set out their own different rules and regulations in relation to the management of the pandemic,” the RCN said.
“Nursing professionals are questioning the level and nature of the variation between governments.”
“The health and care system in England, already short tens of thousands of professionals, can ill afford the current losses,” the RCN added.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers told Sky News that approximately half a dozen hospitals have declared critical incidents in the last five days and absences are having a “massive impact.” on the NHS.
The Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup dismissed the calls for more restrictions as she said the government’s Plan B measures are “working” and “I don’t see no reason why we need to change,” she told Sky News.
Throup added, “At the moment, if you look at the people who have been hospitalised, they are going in with less severe conditions than before.
“The numbers that are in hospital beds is about half what it was a year ago – and that just shows the power of the vaccine.”