Sir Simon Stevens the chief executive of NHS England has confirmed on Thursday that the NHS emergency alert level is to be lowered as hospital admissions are falling.
As England comes out of the third national lockdown and a successful vaccine rollout the country will go from level 4 to level 3, meaning the virus is still in circulation.
Sir Simon said, “We had over 34,000 severely ill coronavirus patients in our hospitals in mid-January.
“That number is now 4,000 and although that is still about 400 more Covid patients than we had this same day a year ago, nevertheless that very sharp decrease in the number of patients with Covid in hospital is a consequence of both declining infection rates across the community and the impact that’s now being felt from the vaccination programme.
“As a result of those much reduced acute pressures on the health service, today I’m recommending that we reduce the national alert level across the health service from level four to level three, and that would take effect today.”
He added, “We’ve got funding certainty for our Covid costs for the first half of the year, which I personally felt was very important that we had that planning certainty.
“We’ve got extra funding that we’ll be deploying to tackle long waiting lists, we are doubling down on the investment guarantees that we have made for mental health services and GP and community services.”
This announcement will now help hospitals to start tackling the backlog of waiting times for treatment.