NHS England to set up ‘war rooms’ for ‘tough winter ahead’ | NHS

the National Health Service is setting up “war rooms” as it prepares for one of the harshest winters in its history, officials announced.

In a letter to staff, health leaders in England establish “winter resilience plans”, which include new system control centers that are expected to be created in each local area.

These centers are expected to manage demand and capacity across the country by constantly tracking beds and attendance.

They will be operated by doctors and experts who can make quick decisions on emerging challenges in the health service, NHS England said.

Data-driven centers will be able to detect when hospitals are close to capacity and could benefit from helping each other. When A&E is especially busy, ambulances will be diverted to nearby hospitals with more space.

Meanwhile, NHS England announced plans to expand fall response services so that people are treated at home, avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital where possible.

Authorities estimate this could free up some 55,000 ambulance trips each year.

Other plans include:
Local respiratory infection centres, which will aim to offer patients same-day out-of-hospital care for Covid, flu, acute bronchitis and pneumonia.
More spaces for hospital beds and more call operators 111 and 999.
24/7 access to professional mental health advice in ambulance services.

NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “Winter comes on the heels of an extremely busy summer, and with the combined impact of flu, Covid and record NHS staff vacancies, in many ways we are facing more than the threat of a ‘twindemic’ this year.

“It is therefore right that we prepare as much as possible – the NHS is going further than ever before in anticipation of a busy winter, and today we have set out further plans to step up these preparations, building on our existing plans to increase established capacity. in August this year.

“Whether they are new services to help people who have fallen at home, centers to treat respiratory infections, or systems control centers that help us overcome pressures across the country, each of these initiatives will have a real impact on the field, helping to relieve pressure on frontline staff, as well as seeing patients quickly and directing them to where they can receive the best possible care.

“Vaccines remain an important part of our defense this winter – everyone who is eligible has the power to protect themselves from both the flu and Covid, so book today if you haven’t already.”

Robert Jenrick, the health minister, said: “We are determined to deliver for patients and have set out our ABCD priorities to prepare for the coming winter months: ambulances, delays, care, doctors and dentists, along with our plan for patients relieve pressure. in the National Health Service.

He said the government was also investing £500m to boost the adult social care workforce.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “This winter could be the toughest on record for the NHS, which is exactly why the services are working together from the start to make sure patients get the care they need, where they need it. the majority.

“With falls leading to thousands of ambulance calls and A&E admissions, it is vital that the NHS use its limited resources in the best possible way, as this will provide value for money to payers and improve the patient experience. ”.

Commenting on the plans, Labor Party shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: “Patients find it impossible to get a GP appointment, an ambulance or an operation when they need one.

“After 12 years of conservative mismanagement, the NHS no longer has the staff it needs to treat patients on time, and nothing in this plan addresses the lack of doctors and nurses.

Adhesive plasters will not work. We need a government that will get this crisis under control and address the root cause. The next Labor government will launch the biggest expansion of medical training in history, providing the doctors and nurses needed to treat patients on time, paid for by abolishing non-doms.

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