The NHS threat level in response to Covid-19 has been downgraded following drops in community cases and hospital inpatient numbers, NHS England chiefs have announced.
The threat level to the health service has been dropped from a “level four” incident, which requires NHSE to “command and control” NHS resources in response to the pandemic, to a “level three” incident, which requires a response by a number of trusts within an NHS region.
A letter from NHSE chief executive Amanda Pritchard and chief operating officer Sir David Sloman, published today, said local systems “need to ensure their resilience and capability to re-establish full incident responses” if needed. At NHSE’s board meeting she stressed that covid was still impacting the service.
Trusts have also been reminded to relax visiting restrictions. The letter said all healthcare settings “should now begin transitioning back towards their own pre-pandemic [or better] policies on inpatient visiting and patients being accompanied in outpatient and [urgent and emergency care] services”.
The default position for trusts should be “no patient having to be alone unless through their choice,” the letter said.
It comes as some trusts have resisted pressure from government and NHSE to relax visiting restrictions.
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Source: HSJ, 19 May 2022