What are the ‘Plan B’ measures NHS chiefs are asking government to implement?

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NHS chiefs have called on the government to take immediate action to stop the spread of the coronavirus to avoid a winter crisis.

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The NHS Confederation, a membership body of health care trusts and commissioning groups, said the ministers’ “Plan B” strategy should be implemented.

Under “Plan B”, a contingency plan drawn up by government ministers, face masks will be made mandatory in some settings and people will be asked to work from home again.

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Vaccine passports may be offered for some locations.

The public will be told “clearly and urgently” about the need to take precautions to help control the virus.

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Outlining the possible plan in the Commons, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that “although this is not the outcome one wants, we have to be prepared just in case”.

The head of the NHS Confederation has warned that these “Plan B” measures are necessary so that efforts to tackle the backlog of 5 million patients are not derailed.

NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor said: “We are on edge – and it is mid-October. We will need an incredible amount of luck not to find ourselves in the middle of a deep crisis over the next three months.

“The government should not only announce that we are going to plan B, but it should be plan B plus. We should do what is in plan B in terms of masks… work from home, but at the same time We should try to achieve the kind of national mobilization that we achieved in the first and second waves, where the public went out of their way to support and help with healthcare.”

Despite calls from NHS chiefs, the government has said it has “absolutely no plans” to introduce new measures, but said they were keeping a “very close eye” on the data.

Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng told sky News Wednesday morning that there would not be another national lockdown, saying: “I will rule it out.”

He said: “I think the conversation about restrictions on travel, restrictions on more lockdowns is completely unhelpful.

“We don’t want to go back into lockdown and further restrictions.”

On Tuesday the UK reported 223 Covid-19 deaths recorded within 28 days of testing positive – a seven-month high.

The seven-day average for Covid-19 cases is 44,145 per day, higher than other European countries.

  1. So what is ‘Plan B’?

    “Plan B”, a contingency plan drawn up by government ministers, includes the resumption of some social distancing measures.

    This includes mandatory face masks in some settings, asking people to work from home and introducing vaccine passports.

    Under “Plan B” the public will be told “clearly and urgently” about the need to take precautions to help control the virus.

    Outlining the “Plan B” scenario in the Commons, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that “although this is not an outcome that one wants, we have to be prepared just in case.”

  2. How likely is ‘Plan B’ to be implemented?

    The government has said it has “absolutely no plans” to introduce the new measures, but said they were keeping a “very close eye” on the data.

    Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng told sky News Wednesday morning that there would not be another national lockdown, saying: “I will rule it out”.

    He said: “I think the conversation about restrictions on travel, restrictions on more lockdowns is completely unhelpful.

    “We don’t want to go back into lockdown and further restrictions.”

    Government scientific advisers will monitor hospitalization numbers, any rapid changes in the figures, and will also take a comprehensive view of the situation in the NHS.

    On Tuesday the UK reported 223 Covid-19 deaths recorded within 28 days of testing positive – a seven-month high.

    The seven-day average for Covid-19 cases is 44,145 per day, which is significantly higher than other European countries.

  3. If it is ‘Plan B’, what was ‘Plan A’?

    “Plan A” includes offering a Covid-19 booster jab to nearly 30 million people, including health care workers and people with certain health conditions.

    Children aged 12 to 15 are being offered a single dose of the vaccine and the government is trying to encourage non-vaccinated people to get vaccinated.

    “Plan A” also includes encouraging people to have their free flu jabs and reminding people to wear face masks in crowded places.

  4. Why does the NHS chief want to implement ‘Plan B’?

    The head of the NHS Confederation has warned that “Plan B” measures need to be introduced or efforts to tackle a backlog of 5 million patients will be derailed.

    NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor said: “We are on edge – and it is mid-October. We will need an incredible amount of luck not to find ourselves in the middle of a deep crisis over the next three months.

    “The government should not only announce that we are going to plan B, but it should be plan B plus. We should do what is in plan B in terms of masks… work from home, but at the same time We should try to achieve the kind of national mobilization that we achieved in the first and second waves, where the public went out of their way to support and help with healthcare.”

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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