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‘Restoration’ of non-covid NHS services gets under way

The government has announced that the “restoration of other NHS services” will start today on a “hospital-by-hospital” basis.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock in his daily ministerial coronavirus briefing announced the resumption of healthcare which has been suspended due to coronavirus will begin today. He said the initial focus would be on the most urgent services, citing cancer and mental health as examples.

They will be reintroduced on a locally decided basis, depending on the level the virus is currently impacting different areas and trusts, which varies widely, and how easily they can reintroduce the work, he said.

Mr Hancock, asked about the plan by HSJ during the briefing, indicated that a large-scale return would be enabled because the government is setting out to avoid a so-called second peak of the virus spreading, so the NHS will not need to keep tens of thousands of extra beds free in readiness. Experts and governments around the globe are concerned about the prospect of further peaks of the virus spread as they move to release distancing measures. 

Further NHS England guidance on the plan is expected later this week. 

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Source: HSJ, 27 April 2020


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