Responding to the First Minister’s announcement of the Welsh Government’s plan to unlock Wales, Darren Hughes, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said:
“We welcome the First Minister’s announcement of a “roadmap” to unlock Wales today with checks and balances to protect the population and the NHS. The message today remains the same, stay at home. There is still very considerable pressure on our NHS and care services.
“Any plan to unlock Wales needs to ensure that health and care services can cope with an increase in demand. If these measures are to work, we will need to continue to see a sustained reduction in transmission in our communities and the number of people needing to access hospital services when their condition is serious.
“The health and care sector are working tirelessly to deliver the highest quality of care throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, and all our frontline staff are facing this challenge with great compassion, courage and resolve. Their response to Coronavirus has been nothing short of astounding.
“However, we also recognise the lockdown cannot last forever, while there are clear direct impacts of Coronavirus, we also need to consider the wider impacts on our society and our health and wellbeing. As we look ahead, to what the future of Wales looks like, we do not want to see widening health inequalities as a result of the steps we have taken. This would only increase demand for health and care services in the long term.”