Latest developments

COVID-19 latest developments

  • Daily COVID-19 statistics
  • Confed responds to latest NHS performance stats
  • Confed writes to Hancock about ‘summer of opportunity’ to tackle NHS backlog
  • Lord Adebowale speaks in parliament about NHS legislative reform
  • £160m for ‘accelerator sites’ to tackle waiting lists
  • Continued concern over India variant
  • DHSC appoints new interim DCMO for England

Daily COVID-19 statistics

The government’s latest available daily COVID-19 statistics show that:

  • today, 2,657 people tested positive for COVID-19
  • today, 11 people sadly died within 28 days of having tested positive for COVID-19
  • on Sunday 9 May, 99 patients were admitted to hospital with COVID-19
  • on Tuesday 11 May, 1,098 COVID-19 patients were still in hospital
  • on Wednesday 12 May, 136 COVID-19 patients were in ventilation beds
  • the total number of people who had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to Wednesday 12 May was 35,906,671
  • the total number of people who had received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to Wednesday 12 May was 18,890,969
  • on Wednesday 12 May, 1,184,941 new tests for COVID-19 were conducted.

Confed responds to latest NHS performance stats

The performance figures published today for the NHS in England showed more than five million people waiting to start treatment and more than 426,000 waiting over a year.

Responding to the figures, Danny Mortimer, our chief executive, highlighted the hard work of NHS teams and how much they’ve achieved in the circumstances, including more than 230,000 cancer checks undertaken in March, but he added there is more to do help deal with backlogs.

Danny said: “Our members are painfully aware of the fact that there are still 5 million patients waiting to start treatment, and more than 436,000 waiting more than a year. NHS teams across the service would like to see bigger, bolder moves from the government to help the health service make best use of the coming months, as COVID infections fall and the vaccination programme continues to progress.”

After the performance statistics were published, and also following the publication of our letter to Matt Hancock (see below story), Danny Mortimer made various appearances across broadcast media today, starting with the Today programme, followed by Sky News and BBC News.

This evening, Danny will be on ITV News at Ten.

Confed writes to Hancock about ‘summer of opportunity’ to tackle NHS backlog

The health service could use this summer to “make significant inroads” in tackling the huge and growing waiting list backlog if major investment was made available and NHS organisations had quicker and easier access to funding to build pop up clinics to see more patients, Danny Mortimer has written in a letter to the Secretary for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock.

The letter, which has for the NHS to be given the necessary tools to grasp a “summer of opportunity” and ramp up their ability to see as many patients as possible over the coming months.

The letter which has been covered in The Times.

Lord Adebowale speaks in parliament about NHS legislative reform

Yesterday evening, our chair Lord Victor Adebowale delivered a speech in the House of Lords during a debate on the Queen’s Speech.

In his speech, Lord Adebowale discussed the views of the NHS Confederation and health leaders with regard to the government’s Health and Care Bill.

Lord Adebowale detailed that although NHS leaders will “broadly welcome” the Bill, they maintain concerns about the proposed additional powers for the Secretary of State and the lack of a plan for adult social care, among other issues.

£160m for ‘accelerator sites’ to tackle waiting lists

Last night, NHS England announced an additional £160 million in funding to be used at “elective accelerator” trial sites in order to tackle the treatment backlog.

Danny Mortimer, our chief executive, said the funding toward 'accelerator sites' was welcome, but added:

“Teams across hospital, community and primary care are working together to respond to the delays being experienced by their patients but they would like to see further bolder moves by the government to help the NHS harness the opportunity of the coming months.”

The announcement of funding toward accelerator sites came before the publication of new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)  which found that, as a result of the pandemic, there were 2.9 million fewer planned admissions, 1.2 million fewer non-COVID-19 emergency inpatient admissions, and 17.1 million fewer outpatient appointments between March and December 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.

The IFS analysis also found substantial differences by ethnicity. White people had a 37 per cent reduction in elective admissions, compared with 36 per cent for Asian people and 24 per cent for black people. For emergency admissions, white people saw a 21 per cent decline, compared with 32 per cent for Asian people and 28 per cent for black people.

Continued concern over India variant

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that he is “anxious” about the India variant of the coronavirus and is “ruling nothing out” to tackle its spread.

Asked specifically whether ‘surge vaccinations’ could be introduced, a Downing Street spokesman said ministers “want to consider all options”. Surge vaccinations would mean focusing extra doses of vaccine in specific areas to immunise a larger section of the population, and reduce the spread of variants.

The UK had recorded 520 cases of the Indian variant up to 5 May.

The India variant – officially labelled B.1.617.2 – is one of four mutated versions of coronavirus which have been designated as being “of concern” by UK health authorities, with others first being identified in Kent, South Africa and Brazil.

Experts believe the Indian variant has mutations that may make it more transmissible, but it is not yet known if it causes more severe disease or if it might make current vaccines less effective.

DHSC appoints new interim DCMO for England

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that Dr Thomas Waite has been appointed as interim deputy chief medical officer (DCMO) for England.

Dr Waite will support chief medical officer (CMO) Professor Chris Whitty, deputy chief medical officer (DCMO) Professor Jonathan Van Tam and the UK government on tackling coronavirus-related issues for the next year.

Dr Waite is a consultant epidemiologist. After his medical and public health training in Wales, he held posts in infectious disease and environmental health protection at Public Health England and more recently was director of the UK Field Epidemiology Training Programme and worked in global public health with the PHE National Infection Service.


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