£3bn pledged to prepare NHS for threat of COVID-19 second wave
20 July 2020
In a recent COVID-19 Downing Street briefing (Friday 17 July 2020), Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a £3bn funding boost for the NHS in England, to use for preparations for a potential second wave of the coronavirus.
It was confirmed that the new funding would be immediately available to the NHS and will allow for the continuation of use of private hospitals to increase hospital capacity. The funding will also maintain Nightingale hospitals across the UK and keep them operational until the end of March 2021.
The funding is expected to help ease regular winter pressures on the health service, following warnings that a second wave of the coronavirus could present significant challenges during the winter months.
It is expected that additional funding for health services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be set out in due course.
Meanwhile, new research by the Royal College of Nursing has revealed a sharp rise in the number of nursing staff considering quitting the profession, driven primarily by concerns about pay. Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, writes in the report: “This is our members speaking for themselves and the messages for those in authority could not be clearer: we are working harder than ever but feel less valued; even more of us are now considering leaving the profession we love; pay us fairly for our professional practice and address the dangerous staffing shortages.”
Liaison Workforce’s Managing Director, Judith Shaw, commented: “We welcome the additional funding for the NHS announced by the Prime Minister today, and hope we get clarity in the coming days on how this is to be spent. We’re partnering with NHS trusts and health boards across the UK to plan for the anticipated workforce challenges arising from the backlog in routine operations, winter pressures and a potential second wave of COVID-19.
“We hope that some of this funding will also go to support those NHS staff whose wellbeing and mental health is suffering due the impact of tackling the virus over the past four months, and give them access to the services they need to ensure they can continue their vital work on the frontline.”
In addition to providing NHS organisations with the tools required to manage and support their workforces, such as collaborative banks and holistic transformations of the workforce journey, Liaison Workforce offers data solutions, intelligence and expertise to help ensure that workforces move forward from COVID-19 and return stronger than ever to address the ongoing demands of the NHS workplace.
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