The Prime Minister said that further restrictions were not needed at this point.
Nursing staff have said they are in “disbelief” over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s failure to act to help the NHS at a time of crisis.
During a Downing Street press conference yesterday, Mr. Johnson doubled down on pledges that improving the vaccination rate would bring the virus under control.
Mr. Johnson insisted that further restrictions were not needed at this point and there was a chance the UK could “ride it out”.
It comes after numerous NHS Trusts in England declared critical incidents in the past week due to a “perfect storm” of increased patient demand and short staffing.
According to a report by The Times last week, NHS England says that “essential bedside care” could be provided by “students, therapists and care assistants” alongside “volunteers with a health background” and even “St John Ambulance staff and former NHS staff” if pressures continue.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) wrote to Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid earlier this week asking for the scientific evidence behind the Government’s current plans.
The RCN now claim the Government is failing to understand the seriousness of what is happening across the health service.
RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen, said: “Nursing staff will watch the Prime Minister’s statement in disbelief.
“One described to me today that the NHS feels more broken than she’s ever known it. This is not hysteria, this is blowing the whistle on falling standards as patient care comes under real threat.
“Vaccinations alone will not reduce infections and hospitalisations – more must be done to prioritise nursing staff for access to testing and high-quality PPE. Meanwhile, the emphasis on virtual and temporary beds shows that the government still fails to recognise the value of highly-skilled nursing staff or grasp the extent of the workforce crisis.
Ms. Cullen goes on to explain; “As the days go on, we are getting a clearer picture of just how difficult things are across all health and care services.
“We have called for an honest conversation with the public about how overstretched health and care services are and, tonight, the PM did not start one.”