Responding to the latest urgent and emergency care, test and trace, and Corsair data, Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: “The latest urgent and emergency care sitrep shows a minor decrease in pressure on ambulance services, as well as a slight decrease in the number of adult critical care beds occupied, in line with the downward trend in COVID patients on ventilation. Keeping these numbers down will be crucial going forward as trusts look to tackle the backlog of treatment and restore services.
“We cannot become complacent. The latest test and trace figures show the rate of decline in new infections is getting slower, reminding us that it is still vitally important for all of us to adhere to lockdown restrictions. And the latest results of the Corsair study tell us that less than a quarter of people with symptoms of the virus requested a test at all – so the test and trace numbers can only describe part of a wider picture.
“Also concerning is the Corsair study finding that only half of the people with recent symptoms have fully adhered to self-isolation requirements. While we now have the vaccination programme in our arsenal, self-isolation is still absolutely imperative, as it is the best way to avoid transmitting the virus to another person. The Government must look into the reasons why some people are not feeling able to self-isolate when they have symptoms, and provide the right support to help them do so.
“To enable staff to recover and the NHS to fully restore services, deal with backlogs, and address the extra needs for care that we expect to emerge over the coming months, we absolutely must avoid another spike in infections.”