With the NHS still under real pressure, we must not let our guard down; we cannot afford a fourth national wave of COVID-19.
Responding to the latest urgent and emergency care sitrep, the latest monthly mortality figures from the ONS, and the latest test and trace figures, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“The latest test and trace figures offer a glimmer of hope, showing a 21 per cent decline in new infections compared with last week. But with the NHS still under real pressure, we must not let our guard down; we cannot afford a fourth national wave of COVID-19.
“The latest monthly ONS mortality figures also show that COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in January in both England and Wales for the third month in a row, showing how very real this crisis still is.
“The decrease in critical care bed occupancy is positive, and while the NHS is still under significant pressure, there is a little more room to breathe in some parts of the country. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our NHS teams.
"It is important to remember, however, that pressure is being felt in other services, particularly as a result of the longer term impact of COVID on people’s health, pressure on waiting times and the rising demand in the need for mental health support. This longer-term pressure is being distributed across primary care teams, community and mental health services as well in our hospitals and ambulance services. The government must take further steps to support the NHS in the forthcoming budget, and must be clearer as to when it will complete its desperately needed plan for social care."