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‘Low priority’ community cases to be deferred as staff redeployed


NHS England has told local systems to defer ‘low priority’ cases across 11 community services, because of the pressures created by the omicron wave. 

NHSE has issued guidance for the prioritisation of the community health workforce “given the increasing pressures on the health system due to the omicron wave of COVID-19 this winter and the need to provide booster jabs as quickly as possible”.

It is hoped the guidance will encourage the redeployment of community staff to help reduce the strain on acute services.

Staff working in musculoskeletal services are being asked to deprioritise some low priority rehabilitation work, with patients enabled to self-manage at home.

It adds: “Where possible, provide capacity to support other community resources focused on rehabilitation and recovery for those discharged from acute care and those whose functioning is deteriorating at home, and/or the administration of vaccines.”

A host of other services have been advised to continue, but with “prioritised” waiting lists and a deferral of provision considered for “low priority cases” to “free up workforce capacity”, including children’s therapy interventions, children’s community paediatric services and audiology services for older adults.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 11 January 2022


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