Key Challenge ‚’ No reserve capacity in the NHS

The Pandemic has demonstrated that the NHS lacks reserve capacity. Most NHS staff are aware that the NHS can barely cope with predictable winter respiratory infections, due to the fact that it is constantly run just below maximum capacity. It might seem that running close to 100% capacity is highly efficient. In practice, efficiency tails off at upper levels of capacity due to stress, staff sickness, poor morale, breakdown in communication and unexpected mini-crises that overload local systems. When a major crisis such as a pandemic, natural disaster or war arises, the NHS is overwhelmed. Not only are victims of the crisis poorly served, but people with non-crisis related ailments such as cancer are also neglected.




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