The NHS are urging the government to immediately enforce their Plan B for and bring back restrictions to prevent a “winter crisis.”
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation has called on the government to start a back up strategy which includes the mandatory order to wear face masks, to prevent the UK from “stumbling to a winter crisis.”
Taylor warned that the NHS are preparing for what could be “the most challenging winter on record.”
He is urging the public to provide support for the NHS by “behaving in ways that will keep themselves and others safe.”
Taylor added, “It is time for the government to enact Plan B of its strategy without delay because without pre-emptive action, we risk stumbling into a winter crisis.
“Also, health leaders need to understand what a ‘Plan C’ would entail if these measures are insufficient.
“The government should not wait for Covid infections to rocket and for NHS pressures to be sky high before the panic alarm is sounded.”
He further warned that if the government “fails to get a grip” over the soaring cases then the UK’s recovery will be “at risk.”
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman previously said that they will only use Plan B if there is a “significant risk of the NHS being overwhelmed,” but the country is “is not at that point.”
The spokesman said: ‘There are a number of different factors that would play into that decision.
‘Largely it would be required when there was a significant risk of the NHS being overwhelmed.
‘We are not at that point. Because of the vaccination programme, the levels we are seeing in both patients admitted to hospital and deaths are far lower than we saw in previous peaks.’
Saffron Cordery, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers told the Guardian, “It is vital that the government and national NHS leaders keep a close watch on these figures and act quickly and decisively to prevent any surge that could place overwhelming pressure on the NHS, particularly as we head into winter.
“This should include activating ‘Plan B’ in the Covid winter plan, if needed.”
She warned, “Trust leaders understand only too well the importance of minimising any delays for planned treatment.
“But if other pressures continue to escalate they will have to take hard decisions about priorities.”