NHS England has asked hospitals to prepare for a potential further surge of covid cases reaching around half the level of first wave of the virus last year – and to seek to deliver 80% of normal elective activity throughout it, HSJ has learned.
Well-placed sources said NHSE officials have held meetings in recent weeks discussing the possibility of a fourth wave of covid later this year, which modelling suggests could see up to 50% of the patient numbers seen in April last year.
Trusts have been asked by NHSE officials, as part of the planning process, what resources they would need to run at 80 per cent of previous volumes of elective work if this scenario occurred. They are also taking into account that it is likely to come on top of greater non-covid emergency care demand, which has been lower then normal over the past 15 months.
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Source: HSJ, 21 May 2021