Responding to NHS England and NHS Improvement’s publication of guidance on implementing phase three of the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“The targets set for restoring services in the next phase of the coronavirus response will be extremely stretching, so this is welcome, practical guidance which will support NHS organisations and provide greater clarity.
“It is essential that we focus our attention on the startling health inequalities throughout England which have been further exposed by the pandemic. We welcome the national emphasis to tackle this in the next phase of the response and the focus on protecting those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and restoring services inclusively. While no-one will argue against the aims, it is important that systems are supported to implement these actions, particularly increased monitoring.
“The work of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, which will be hosted by the NHS Confederation, will also be an important step in the right direction on tackling health inequality.”