New NHS chief Amanda Pritchard — in her own words

She will play a key role in England's response to the pandemic.

New NHS chief Amanda Pritchard — in her own words

NHS England has appointed Amanda Pritchard as its first female chief executive.

When she takes up the job on August 1, she will play a key role in how the country’s health system responds to the next stages of the pandemic. Hospitals are struggling to contain a third wave of infections, even if the U.K.’s high vaccination rates have weakened the link between case numbers and hospitalizations.

A real concern for health managers though are the knock-on effects from COVID — the expected surge in mental health cases as a result of grueling months of lockdown and rising waiting lists.

Pritchard is currently NHS England’s chief operating officer and has not been a high-profile figure up to now. With nearly a quarter-century of experience in the health service she has been billed as a “continuity candidate” who understands deeply how the NHS operates.

But who is Pritchard and what are her priorities? Here are some of her own words.

On … what the NHS should do

“The NHS is not just a sickness service but a health service which is why we want to make every contact count, using every opportunity to keep people well rather than just seeking to make them better.”

Getting it right first time — June 16, 2021

On … health inequalities

“A new focus will have to be on health inequalities … It’s a new number one, I think, when we think about our legacy of COVID and what therefore the health service needs to orientate around.”

NHS Providers podcast — February 25, 2021

On … mental health demand post-COVID

“We don’t know what the mental health long-term impact is going to be from what’s happened this year, but we saw an uptick in demand after the first wave. I can’t believe it won’t happen again … We should anticipate that.”

NHS Providers podcast — February 25, 2021

On … waiting lists

“We [have] far more people now waiting far too long, particularly for elective care, than what we’ve had for some considerable period of time. And I know that people are worried about that … colleagues across the NHS are really concerned about that.”

NHS Providers podcast — February 25, 2021

On … using technology to treat more patients virtually

“There are things the NHS has done over the course of the past year that we really, really don’t want to lose, we want to build on. So, for me it’s some really obvious things around innovation. So a whole-scale shift to treating patients virtually, not just in primary care but secondary care. Mental health as well.”

NHS Providers podcast — February 25, 2021

On … surviving lockdown

“I have started with the little things: taking a 30-minute walk with my very energetic puppy, keeping my New Year’s resolution to take two short 10-minute breaks each day to text a friend, take fresh air or simply to do nothing at all.”

NHS Leadership Lives

Source : Politico EU More   

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Almost half of Brits think Boris Johnson eased coronavirus rules too soon: poll

Forty-six percent of British voters said they thought restrictions were lifted too early in an exclusive POLITICO poll.

Almost half of Brits think Boris Johnson eased coronavirus rules too soon: poll

Boris Johnson is determined to press ahead and lift coronavirus restrictions — but British voters aren’t so sure.

The U.K. government has come under fire from some scientists for ditching social distancing rules and mask mandates while COVID cases continued to soar on July 19. Initially billed as “freedom day” by elements of the media and some politicians, Johnson eventually struck a more cautious tone as he asked Brits not to treat the easing like a “great jubilee.”

However, an exclusive poll for POLITICO by Redfield and Wilton Strategies suggests Johnson may have moved too soon. Forty-six percent of the 1,500 respondents to the survey conducted on July 29 said it was “too soon” to lift restrictions, compared to 33 percent who thought it was the right time. Just 12 percent thought it was “too late.”

The findings also show that Brits largely remain wary of the virus, continuing to take a number of precautions whether required by law or not.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they would be likely to fully self-isolate if they came into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus. This comes despite the U.K.’s “pingdemic,” which caused staff shortages in some industries due to high numbers of people being asked to isolate via contact tracing notifications from the National Health Service’s COVID app. Only 10 percent said they would be unlikely to isolate if asked.

Asked about precautions they had taken in the last month, 56 percent said they had worn a mask in settings where it was not required, 53 percent had avoided large public gatherings and 40 percent had avoided public transport. More than a third (36 percent) said they avoided pubs or restaurants, which have been open in some form in the U.K. since April, while a fifth said they avoided meeting family or friends.

The figure on masks will be of some comfort to government scientists, who continue to stress their importance despite mixed messages from ministers.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance — the U.K.’s most visible scientific experts throughout the pandemic — indicated on July 5 they would continue to wear masks after the July 19 rule change, while Johnson said it would “depend on the circumstances.”

One of his ministers, the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, said on July 4 he would stop wearing a mask when they were no longer legally required. When the government later released advice that said Brits are “expected and recommended” to keep wearing masks after a sharp rise in cases, Jenrick told the BBC he had said nothing of the sort.

Asked by the pollster who they trust more within the context of the coronavirus pandemic, 57 percent of respondents said they trust scientists advising the government more than they trust ministers. Just 1 percent said they trusted the politicians more.

Source : Politico EU More   

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