2023-01-24 14:46:53

Dreaded Covid-flu twindemic cost NHS this winter

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By Nick Triggle

Health correspondent

Simultaneous big waves of Covid and flu - the 'twindemic' experts warned of as people returned to 'normal' pre-pandemic mixing - cost the NHS this winter, say NHS bosses.

NHS England chief strategy officer Chris Hopson said hospital pressures in England peaked on 29 December.

The workload involved gave hospitals a "significant problem" at the turn of the year, he said.

It was at this point that record-long waits at A&E were seen.

Since then the pressures have begun to ease a little.

Speaking to MPs on the House of Commons' health committee, Mr Hopson said: "The issue was always going to be this winter was the degree to which we saw prevalence of both Covid and flu and the degree to which they combined.

"Now we're obviously not through winter yet but the really important point - that I don't think has come out enough - is both Covid and flu peaked so far on 29 December."

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He suggested that when NHS bosses were planning for winter that was very much the worst scenario.

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