Health Business 21.03

Vaccine programme success paving over cracks?

This week, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens announced that all adults can now book a life-saving coronavirus jab vaccine.

From 18 June, veryone aged 18 and over is being urged to arrange a jab if they have not had one as the NHS Covid Vaccination Programme begins the final push to protect the country. Approximately eight in 10 adults have had their first dose while more than half having had their vital second dose, meaning they have maximum protection from coronavirus.

The NHS in England has delivered over 60 million vaccinations just six months after making history when Margaret Keenan received the first approved vaccine in Coventry.

However, despite the undeniable success of the vaccine effort, the toll on staff remains. The BMA recently reported that doctors are suffering ‘moral distress’ and even ‘moral injury’ because they cannot give their patients the care and support they want to when they feel they need it.

Hospitalisations may be less of a concern for politicians than this time last year, but the constraints on NHS staff have not eased. As many as 78.4 per cent of respondents stated that moral distress resonated with their experiences at work, which is a deeply concerning statistic.

Michael Lyons, editor