A KEY executive of NHS, who lives in Basingstoke, has said the service is “still seeing very high levels of hospital admissions”.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, told Times Radio that data showed Covid-19 cases were coming down but “we are still seeing significant numbers of patients on mechanical ventilation”.

She said the numbers in intensive care are not as high as the peak of the pandemic, but were still posing a challenge for the NHS.

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“I think there is considerable uncertainty still about how this will play out because levels come down in London, but they’re going up in the North West, they’re going up in the East of England, so we need to think really carefully about how it’s impacting, and impacting differentially across the country,” Ms Cordery said.

“I think we’re somewhere between the middle phase and going towards still being beyond full stretch, really, because what we have to remember is that the NHS isn’t an island, we have a huge impact of Covid across all of the different services that work alongside and with the NHS.”

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She also added problems in social care and staff absences had a knock-on effect on how many people could be discharged from hospital.

Ms Cordery suggested it was “premature” to look at “living with Covid” as being in the next few months, adding there would be “a gradual return to a new kind of normality for the NHS”.

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