Responding to the latest Downing Street press conference, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:
“All parts of the NHS have been working flat out to give more than 3 million vaccinations so far, but there can be no mistake that we are still facing a COVID emergency, with more than 37,000 people in hospitals across the country right now with the disease.
“While there are tentative signs that the nation’s collective efforts to suppress the virus are starting to pay off, now is not the time to take our foot off the pedal, particularly as the average age profile of those in critical care is lower than for those who are currently being prioritised for vaccination and it will take some weeks for decrease in infection to reduce the impact on the NHS.
“This is a perilous moment for the NHS, and health leaders are very concerned that other services for patients are being disrupted. They are keen to resume them without delay.
“The NHS’s workforce has demonstrated its enormous commitment over the last year, but we need an honest conversation about the lasting scars this pandemic will leave on our health service and its ability to spring back once this wave subsides.”