Sunday, December 5

Enforce ‘Plan B’ immediately or risk winter crisis

Amid rising Covid-19 cases, Matthew Taylor chief executive of the NHS Confederation, has urged the Government to implement the back-up strategy which involves measures including bringing back mandatory face coverings in public places.

The NHS Confederation’s warning comes as coronavirus deaths in the UK rose to their highest daily level since early March, while cases are at their highest for almost three months.

Downing Street said it was keeping a very close eye on rising case rates, but added the Prime Minister has absolutely no plan to introduce Plan B, which could also involve introducing vaccine passports for nightclub entry. The NHS Confederation is the membership organisation that brings together, supports and speaks for the whole healthcare system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mr Taylor said the NHS is preparing for what could be the most challenging winter on record and urged the public to show extra support for the NHS by behaving in ways that will keep themselves and others safe.

He added: It is time for the Government to enact Plan B of its strategy without delay because without pre-emptive action, we risk stumbling into a winter crisis. Also, health leaders need to understand what a ‘Plan C’ would entail if these measures are insufficient.

The Government should not wait for Covid infections to rocket and for NHS pressures to be sky high before the panic alarm is sounded. Mr Taylor said if the Government “fails to get a grip on rising coronavirus cases, the nation’s recovery from the pandemic could be put at risk.