The Covid-19 pandemic has taken the UK by storm. The NHS has been radically mobilised to respond to the acute needs of people infected with the virus, whilst delivering scaled-back non-Covid-19 healthcare.
Every day, there is a rising toll of Covid-19 confirmed deaths and hospitalisations. In spite of the Oxford vaccine and Pfizer vaccine being approved to roll-out across the UK, the NHS is still working tirelessly to fight the new strain of the virus.
There will be a long-term impact on service capacity and resilience in the NHS. The NHS entered the pandemic with a relatively low level of beds and staff, and much of the response to the pandemic has hinged on slowing infections to allow time for the NHS to increase critical care capacity in hospitals.
Counties across the UK did not start at the same place, with London having more critical care beds than elsewhere.
Overall, the NHS mobilised a large number of additional critical care beds and equipment.
Even though the pandemic is ongoing, pressure is increasing to tackle people who suffer with long-Covid. Emerging evidence shows a growing number of people who contract Covid-19 cannot shake off the effects of the virus months after initially falling ill.
Symptoms are wide-ranging and fluctuating, and can include breathlessness, chronic fatigue, brain fog, anxiety and stress.
The exact number of people experiencing long-Covid symptoms is unclear. There is an estimated 60,000 people in the UK thought to be experiencing long-Covid, but this number could increase as coronavirus infection rates rise.
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