TThe UK government knew “this was going to be one of the most pressurized winters” for the NHS and that additional investments had been made to help the service cope, a minister said.
Health Minister Gillian Keegan, when asked about the number of critical incidents reported by NHS trusts, told BBC Breakfast: “Right now they are under extreme pressure with the Omicron variant, with the number of cases positive and increasing hospitalizations, and at this time they still have extreme pressure.
“We knew it and we actually knew it during that time – that’s why we put in an additional £ 5.4bn to try and get additional staff, to get additional capacity to be able to put services in place. virtual, extra beds and extra capacity with the Nightingales etc, whatever we planned, it was going to be really tough.
“We have had two years of a pandemic, there is an accumulation of people who have not come forward and need electives – there is a backlog that we have to deal with – and then you have the unknown of Covid – we now know we have Omicron – and the flu was also a big unknown, how much flu we would have this year.
“We always knew it was going to be one of the most pressurized winters and they do an absolutely amazing job.
“Part of one of the procedures that we have with our NHS Contingency and Resilience Plans is to actually declare this critical condition and then they will work with regional NHS colleagues and local resilience forums to ensure they are ensuring that mutual aid is provided, or other support is required, so it is part of the escalation process.
“These are proven plans, we have these plans in place every winter.”