Whitty warns NHS will face ‘exceptionally difficult’ winter with no Covid an ‘impossible dream’

Posted: October 18th 2021


I bookend Casebook this month with two grim pandemic related stories. Sorry for not being more positive!! This one tells us:

England’s top doctor has warned the health service will face an “exceptionally difficult” winter as demand pressures on the NHS add up.

Speaking to the Royal College of GPs annual conference in Liverpool today, England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty spelled out “the tall order” facing the NHS in the coming months.

He said it was an “impossible dream” to go through winter without any Covid pressures on the NHS and he warned the country was not far off a really serious situation.

Addressing the conference, Prof Whitty said: “The winter as a whole, I regret to say, is going to be exceptionally difficult for the NHS” and he added “general practice is going to be absolutely at the forefront of this, unfortunately.”

He said this will be the reality “irrespective of whether we have a relatively low but non trivial amount of Covid, or whether we actually have a further surge in the winter.”

While he said the exact modelling was uncertain he was confident the dire situation faced last winter would not happen, describing the “top end risks” for the country being much lower than previously.