Report: "COVID-19 saw the transformation of the NHS into the National COVID Service"

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A report, from centre-right think-tank Reform, highlights the urgent action needed to address England's backlog of non-COVID related procedures that were put on hold during the pandemic.
A joint report produced by public services think-tank Reform and healthcare data analytics company Edge Health has shone light on the harsh impact the pandemic has had on NHS England as a complete health service, saying "the system became too focussed on the short-term response to the crisis at the expense of maintaining essential non-COVID services."

With the vast majority of resources redirected to strengthen the frontline against COVID-19, what were deemed non-essential services and procedures were put on hold, which, the report notes, has resulted in worsening health conditions, an ever-increasing backlog of procedures and thousands of non-COVID related excess deaths.

It states: "The bulk of non-COVID care provision came to a halt as non-urgent procedures were cancelled and patients stopped presenting, possibly due to a combination of fear of catching COVID-19 and not wanting to place additional burden on health services. This meant that some healthcare practitioners, as highlighted by several interviews carried out for this paper, were left "twiddling their thumbs" because there was little non-COVID work to do."

WHY IT MATTERS

Not only does the report draw attention to the real-life implications of decisions made throughout the pandemic, but it also highlights how NHS England's response was shaped by chronic…
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