Responding to the NHS deal with the independent sector to tackle coronavirus, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“This is not a time for trivial distinctions about who owns what – the simple truth is we need every doctor, every nurse, every clinical facility to do whatever is needed, no matter where it is needed. We must all do everything we can to tackle this pandemic.
“The arrival of thousands of staff from the independent sector joining the fight, alongside the recently retired and those approaching qualification, the workforce on the front line is growing.
“Of course, the government and the national NHS leadership need to make sure they have the right protective equipment and the right testing regime. Huge efforts are underway to ramp up those essentials and to produce more ventilators – this is a war and the troops need the weapons to fight it.
“And the ‘civilian’ population has a critical role too – stop selfish panic buying, support each other and follow medical advice on social distancing and hand hygiene.”