Vital to maintain downward trend in COVID-19 deaths to protect NHS ahead of winter

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Responding to the latest ONS mortality figures for England and Wales, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said: “These figures are continuing to follow the same downward trend, and that’s reassuring. However, as a potentially catastrophic winter approaches, it’s vital that this is maintained. We have seen from other countries that people resuming their normal activities can all too easily trigger a change in the trend, with cases rising once again.

"That is why it is so important to make careful decisions about further easing of lockdown, and be ready to put on the brakes if needed to help reduce transmission and mitigate the impact on the NHS and its staff, who are already exhausted and overstretched, and working so hard to restore other NHS services for patients.

“We were reassured to hear that, alongside the flu vaccination scheme, there will be funding for the NHS going into winter, and that there will be more local involvement in the test and trace programme, which our members have been calling for since the beginning of the pandemic. However, we need to see rapid improvement in the programme, alongside a collective effort from the whole population to keep moving in the right direction.”

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