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Millions of patients in England will suffer from a deterioration in the quality of care unless ministers take immediate action to alleviate the staff crisis engulfing the NHS, health chiefs have warned.

The NHS Confederation, which represents the entire healthcare system, is calling tonight for the implementation of a series of new measures in the NHS in England to help overburdened hospitals and ambulance services, mental health , community, general medicine and social care in difficulty to face “” Shortage of doctors and health workers.

Tens of thousands of medical students are expected to be deployed to wards and other health facilities, NHS and social service staff to have priority access to lateral flow and PCR testing, and the period of self-help. isolation needs to be reviewed to see if it can be reduced from 10 days to five, as has happened in the United States and France, he said.

The call came as a growing number of operations are being called off, with more than 20 NHS trusts declaring an ‘internal critical incident’ in recent days as they struggle to cope with intense pressure from Covid. It emerged on Wednesday that at least four other NHS trusts had passed this milestone, the highest form of alert a hospital can issue, as the whole of the NHS in Norfolk had done.

Absences by NHS staff have now doubled from what they would normally be this time of year, and 17,276 people are hospitalized in the UK with Covid – up 58% in one week – as ‘Omicron continues to put “enormous pressure” on every part of the health service, the NHS Confederation added.

The absence of tens of thousands of staff is already having a ‘detrimental’ impact on the ability of the NHS to deliver health care, he warned, and said, without further action, the staff crisis “threatens the quality of patient care”.

In view of the worsening situation, national regulators should also ‘explicitly recognize’ that clinical tasks ‘may need to be assigned in a way that would not normally be recognized as best practice,’ the NHS Confederation said. .

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