Responding to the Government announcement that people can stop self-isolating 5 days after first experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, following two negative lateral flow tests, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:
“We called for consideration to be given to reducing the self-isolation period in England as one way of alleviating the NHS staffing crisis if it could be backed by the appropriate evidence and so, we are glad the Government has acted quickly.
“This is a pragmatic move which leaders will welcome if it can mean more health and care workers who are well enough can return to the frontline, providing it does not significantly add to the risk of the virus spreading.
“The number of people in hospital is still high, with admissions still rising in the North of England and alongside that, the NHS faces a huge care backlog and significant vacancies. Leaders are grateful for the military support that has been made available to help deliver hospital services as well as the three-month agreement with the independent sector but we are certainly not out of the woods yet.
“The virus has claimed over 150,000 lives across the UK and over 1.3 million people are reported to have Long Covid. As the Government contemplates what living with Covid-19 will mean for our country, we need ongoing recognition in public communications that it continues to present a very real risk to our health and wellbeing.”
We are the membership organisation that brings together, supports and speaks for the whole healthcare system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The members we represent employ 1.5 million staff, care for more than 1 million patients a day and control £150 billion of public expenditure. We promote collaboration and partnership working as the key to improving population health, delivering high-quality care and reducing health inequalities.