Last month, there were also over 2 million visits to A&E departments in England.
The current pressures on the health service are not unsustainable, the Health Secretary has said this evening.
During a Downing Street press conference this evening, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid proclaimed “we don’t believe the pressures on the NHS are unsustainable”. He also suggested that it was time to learn to live with the virus and be thankful for the low number of 1,000 deaths per day.
Mr Javid comments come only days after the NHS called in the military to assist frontline healthcare workers.
The latest NHS performance data reveals a new record-high for the number of patients on waiting lists for treatment.
Last month, there were also over 2 million visits to A&E departments in England, the highest number in any September since current records began and over 100,000 patients waited over four hours for admission to a hospital bed.
Nursing staff told NursingNotes earlier this year that they are at breaking point over current workplace pressures and are now considering industrial action over pay and working conditions.
We are not fine.
Reacting to Mr Javid’s comments, Anthony Johnson the lead organiser for the grassroots group Nurses United UK said; “For anyone who has a loved one that has died from this virus, Sajid Javid’s suggestion that we “learn to live with the virus” will ring pretty hollow.
“Other countries have shown how to do this right, acting swiftly, providing PPE beyond that recommended by the World Health Organisation and genuinely caring about whether or not people live or die are what is needed.
“Not this professional callousness that thinks that it is okay to ask our overwhelmed staff to do more. There’s 46,000 nursing vacancies, we are not fine.
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, added;“ The NHS is already gearing up for a busy winter and so, the Secretary of State’s warning that daily confirmed cases of coronavirus could reach 100,000 a day and hospital admissions the disease are approaching 1,000 a day will be of no comfort.”
“The message from health leaders is clear – it is better to act now, rather than regret it later.
“We’ve heard the Secretary of State’s decision not to enact Plan B of the Government’s winter strategy and while we do not agree with him, we encourage him to keep reviewing the data and engaging with health leaders.”