The NHS should start off the next financial year focusing on staff recovery and postpone ratcheting up elective recovery efforts and other long-term priorities until the second quarter, senior figures have warned.
One trust chief executive said if there is an expectation from the centre that “April is the start point [for elective recovery], that will cause a massive problem”.
It comes with the government and NHS England still apparently locked in negotiation over NHS funding for the financial year from 1 April, and deciding what the NHS will be asked to deliver.
The CEO said: “It’s hard to think that 1 April signals a new year for the NHS. [There needs to be] a gradual decompression of our staff over the next three months as the country opens up.
“If the planning guidance gets announced in the next couple of weeks with an expectation that April is the start point, that will cause a massive problem. Staff have not recovered, the vaccine programme is still ongoing, [and] there are still covid patients in all of our beds.”
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Source: HSJ, 18 March 2021