Good morning. One of many largest points worrying authorities in the meanwhile is what is going on within the NHS. It’s typically introduced as a easy query, will or is not going to the NHS be “overwhelmed”? (a binary framing for which the federal government itself is essentially accountable, as a result of it made this a key criterion for Covid alert levels), however, as we discovered on Tuesday, Boris Johnson cannot define what the NHS being “overwhelmed” means, and that’s as a result of there is no such thing as a yes-or-no reply. Chris Hopson, chief government of NHS Suppliers, made this level nicely within the course an extended thread he posted on Twitter final evening.

Chris Hopson

On single nationwide image, notably vital to watch out about language and calibration of scale of NHS strain. NHS leaders and workers working extremely arduous to keep away from “overwhelm”, “tipping level” and “disaster” and that work must be positively acknowledged …16/24

January 5, 2022

Chris Hopson

…NHS would not simply go from a state the place it offers care to 1 the place it would not. Additionally important proof from earlier waves of covid-19 that some sufferers gained’t come ahead in the event that they suppose the NHS is “overwhelmed”. Both as a result of they suppose they gained’t get remedy…17/24

January 5, 2022

The Hopson thread, which is nicely price studying in full, begins here.

However folks will make a judgment about how nicely the NHS is doing, and whether or not the federal government is operating it nicely, no matter whether or not or not some notional tipping level has been reached, and a report (pdf) out this morning from the Conservative-dominated Commons well being committee ought to make sobering studying for ministers. Its title is “Clearing the backlog attributable to the pandemic”, and its key message is that this may occasionally show unimaginable. It says that, partly due to Omicron, and partly due to long-term staffing issues (a specific obsession of Jeremy Hunt’s), the federal government’s plans to deal with the backlog are in jeopardy.

That is from Hunt, the previous Tory well being secretary and committee chair, summing up his committee’s findings.

The NHS faces an unquantifiable problem in tackling a backlog of circumstances attributable to the pandemic, with 5.8m sufferers ready for deliberate care and estimates that the determine might double by 2025.

Nevertheless, our report finds that the federal government’s restoration plans danger being thrown off target by a wholly predictable staffing disaster. The present wave of Omicron is exacerbating the issue, however we already had a severe staffing disaster, with a burnt-out workforce, 93,000 NHS vacancies and no signal of any plan to handle this.

Removed from tackling the backlog, the NHS will be capable of ship little greater than daily firefighting until the federal government wakes as much as the size of the staffing disaster dealing with the NHS, and urgently develops a long-term plan to repair the difficulty.

I shall be focusing much more on Covid and the NHS immediately.

And the opposite fundamental fear for Johnson, after all, is the price of residing disaster. In a single day it was reported that Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Commons, wanted the planned national insurance increase to be shelved. We shall be listening to from Rees-Mogg himself within the Commons later.

Right here is the agenda for the day.

9.30am: The ONS publishes its newest knowledge on lengthy Covid.

10.10am: George Eustice, the surroundings secretary, offers a speech to the Oxford Farming Convention.

10.30am: Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chief of the Commons, takes questions within the Commons on subsequent week’s enterprise.

11.30am: Downing Road holds a foyer briefing.

Round 11.30am: Liz Truss, the overseas secretary, makes a press release within the Commons about Russia.

Round 12.30pm: Victoria Atkins, the Dwelling Workplace minister, makes a press release to MPs in regards to the Afghan resettlement scheme.

2pm: The UK Health Safety Company publishes its weekly Covid surveillance report.

I’ll overlaying UK Covid developments on this weblog immediately, however for wider coronavirus protection, do learn our world dwell weblog.

I attempt to monitor the feedback beneath the road (BTL) however it’s unimaginable to learn all of them. You probably have a direct query, do embrace “Andrew” in it someplace and I’m extra more likely to discover it. I do attempt to reply questions, and if they’re of normal curiosity, I’ll submit the query and reply above the road (ATL), though I can’t promise to do that for everybody.

If you wish to entice my consideration shortly, it’s in all probability higher to make use of Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to e mail me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com


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