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NHS England reinstates central control powers as covid risk rating is increased

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The NHS has been returned to the highest level of risk on its emergency preparedness framework, a move which allows national leaders tighter control over local resources and decision making.

NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens announced the decision at a press conference this morning.

He said: “Unfortunately, again we are facing a serious situation [due to rising coronavirus infections and hospital admissions]. That is the reason why at midnight tonight the health service in England will be returning to its highest level of emergency preparedness, EPPR level 4, which of course we had to be at from the end of January to the end of July.”

Placing the NHS on level 4 of Emergency Preparedness Reslience and Response framework allows system leaders to take control of decisions over mutual aid and other local priorities.

Sir Simon was joined by NHSE/I medical director Steve Powis and Alison Pittard, dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine. They used the press conference to stress the threat the NHS faced from the second covid peak, but also set out more positive news on the covid vaccine programme.

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Source: HSJ, 4 November 2020

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