Winter pressures and the addition of COVID

Winter is always a challenging time for patients and healthcare workers across the UK, but this winter is forecast to be a much greater challenge. With Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases rising, the NHS is already facing a lot of winter pressures. Unsurprisingly, the addition of COVID-19 is due to make things even harder.

The major concern is that with all these extra pressures to worry about this winter, the already depleted NHS might not be able to keep up. Reports are showing that this winter, Influenza and RSV hospital admissions and deaths could be twice that of a ‘normal’ year. This could coincide with an increase of COVID-19 infections, and their associated long-term consequences.

After dealing with the third wave of COVID-19, as well as several other illness outbreaks between summer and winter 2021, the NHS is already struggling to catch up with the backlog of routine care. The NHS will also be dealing with a reduced number of beds this winter due to infection control requirements. Additionally, it is predicted that not only the physical health of the nation will take a toll this winter, but mental health is also expected to take a hit. It is also predicted that due to the delays in diagnoses caused by the pandemic, cases of higher risk conditions such as asthma, heart attacks and strokes might increase this winter.

With this information in mind, the concern of the public and NHS is understandable. However, the important thing to remember is that this is not a sprint, but a marathon. The Government has a multi-step plan in place to help ease the winter pressures which is as follows:

  1. The Government will continue to make vaccines readily available and encourage people to get their vaccines.
  2. The NHS will be offering booster doses of the vaccine to those who were vaccinated in Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
  3. The NHS will follow the advice given by the UK Chief Medical Officers, which is to administer those aged between 12 and 15 years old with a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

The Government will continue to work the life sciences sector to make sure that therapeutics, such as antivirals, complement the vaccination programme and enable long-term management of COVID-19 and its clinical impacts. With these contingencies in place, the Government and NHS will hopefully be able to keep the COVID-19 situation under control. In theory, this would free up more healthcare workers to help ease the typical winter pressures faced in UK.

MCG Healthcare takes pride in making sure the healthcare workers we employ are being properly compensated and looked after so that during hard times like these, people can still rely on getting the care they need. We respect and understand the dedication and commitment required by those we work with, which is why you can find the best healthcare work with us. For more information get in contact with one of our dedicated agents.

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