NHS jumps in bed with private sector as Omicron wave forces hospitals to find extra capacity

Monday, January 10, 2022, 7:58 a.m.

Hospitals will be able to use spare capacity in the private sector under a new agreement with the NHS, while hospitals have been instructed to find extra beds.

The three-month agreement provides for private health workers and facilities to be on standby to assist the NHS in the event that hospital admissions or staff absences due to Covid jeopardize the delivery of urgent care.

Patients who can be referred include some of the patients waiting for cancer surgery.

The NHS was also asked to consider using spare capacity in gyms and education centers to create “super surge” stations in addition to their usual surge capacity.

Nightingale hubs are already being built on the premises of some hospitals as part of the move to create up to 4,000 extra beds.

Sajid Javid, Minister for Health and Welfare, said, “This agreement shows our health services are working together to create an extra layer of protection that ensures people continue to receive the care they need from our world-leading NHS whenever they need it you need.”

“Open Approach”

Michael Gove said Britain – and England in particular – has one of the “most open” and “one of the most liberal approaches of any country in Europe” when it comes to the coronavirus.

The Leveling-Up Secretary told Sky News that it is up to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health to decide whether to cut the Covid isolation time from seven to five days.

But he said, “We always keep an eye on things because we always let the facts, science and changing circumstances guide us.

“So I find it striking that in the UK as a whole, in England in particular, we have one of the most open regimes, one of the essentially … one of the most liberal of all countries in Europe, but we also have to” balance this with the determination make sure we don’t overwhelm the NHS. “

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