- NHS leaders warn that completing the huge 50m jab drive will take some precautions
- Army and volunteers have been drafted, but health workers need to supervise them
- NHS waiting list stands at 5.8 million and there are 740k ‘missing’ cancer patients
Health leaders have warned the NHS is set to end more routine operations to shift its focus to the UK’s huge booster rollout for staff.
Boris Johnson has promised a booster COVID vaccine to all 53 million eligible adults by the end of January to protect the country from the oncoming omicron wave.
But with staff shortages and waiting lists already at high levels, health chiefs say this will come at the cost of planned operations and health scans.
“The more we will be able to meet the requirement, the less essential and more routine work will have to stop and I am very reluctant to do so given the backlog and pressure in the system,” said an NHS leader. Independent,
There are fears that delays in elective care, which include routine procedures – such as knee operations – and scans to screen or screen for health problems such as cancer or heart disease, will further increase the record NHS waiting list.
Sajid Javid has already accepted that the workload of GPs will be shifted to focus on the booster campaign in a dramatic U-turn on face-to-face appointments with doctors.
Re-prioritizing the COVID vaccine to tackle the huge NHS care waiting list is a shift in Mr Javid’s focus earlier Said that addressing the backlog was his ‘top priority’ and stressed that the country has to ‘learn to live with Covid’, when he became health secretary in June
The waiting list for treatment in England is already around 6 million, but a recent report warns it could more than double in four years as millions of patients already in healthcare seek delayed care from the pandemic. return.
Concerns over the booster campaign’s impact on the care backlog came after the government announced £700 million to expand wards, install new operating theaters and upgrade screening technology to help tackle NHS waiting lists.
The funds, which were announced earlier this year, will be distributed to 187 hospitals across England and split into £330 million for facilities upgrades, £250 million for new technology and £120 million for ancillary costs Will be done.
Mr Jayavad said: ‘A hard winter is about to come, we are putting everything behind our health and care services so that everyone can access the services they need, when they need them.
‘Our £700 million investment will help treat more people in the coming months by upgrading wards, operating theaters and diagnostic kits.
Barry Smith, age 60, gets his Pfizer booster jab at Koops Pharmacy in London earlier this week
The NHS waiting list for routine hospital treatment in England reached 5.83 million in September, the latest available. But the National Audit Office has warned that it could double from this level by 2025, despite billions of dollars in healthcare.
The graph above shows how the NHS waiting list could extend to 2025. The National Audit Office has warned that the list could grow to above 12 million if 50 percent of missing patients return and demand grows by 3.2 percent annually. But should the NHS manage to increase treatments by more than 10 percent a year, the list should stabilize at 8 million in 2024 before falling slightly, he suggested.
However, while responding to funding in the House of Commons Labor’s new Shadow Secretary of State for Health Wes Streeting said the investment was welcome, more needed to be done to tackle the NHS staff shortage.
“While brick and mortar are important, and we ignore that investment … the central challenge of the NHS winter crisis is a lack of professional staff,” he said.
According to the latest available figures there is currently a shortage of NHS staff in England at around 100,000.
and NHS leaders have anonymously told Independent The only way to meet the government’s COVID booster deadline is to reduce or suspend routine care.
While NHS England has yet to explain how healthcare providers are expected to speed up the vaccine programme, a trust leader said pulling resources from planned care was the ‘only option’.
What is alternative care?
Pre-planned care is known as alternative care.
This involves specialist staffing or surgery and is usually followed by referral from a GP or community health professional.
Some examples include a knee operation or a kidney stone removal procedure.
This may also include health check-ups such as scans to detect certain types of cancer.
‘That’s the only way to meet the deadline, we’ve done modeling and’ [we] He said hundreds of additional full-time equivalent employees would be needed.
Another NHS leader said GP health screening and screening may have to be abandoned, and this is already being discussed.
“Some screening and non-essential GP work can be built up and is being discussed at the national level, but clarity will also be needed for community service providers who have carried out a lot of vaccine programmes,” he said. is,’ he said.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents all NHS hospitals, said the booster campaign would help health leaders manage a balancing act of priorities.
“Given the critical importance of the booster campaign, trust leaders know they will need to balance emergency care and its additional demands with current pressures in the care backlog,” he said,
‘Faith leaders will always do everything possible to avoid reducing activity, but when necessary, they will prioritize based on clinical need, which they are very experienced in doing.’
Despite overall A&E admissions in England being only two percent higher than in August…