The wider impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the NHS

Document type
Propper, Carol; Stoye, George; Zaranko, Ben
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
9 April 2020
IFS Briefing Note; BN280
Social Policy, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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The coronavirus pandemic will have huge impacts on the National Health Service (NHS). Patients suffering from the illness are placing unprecedented demands on acute care, particularly on intensive care units (ICUs). This has led to an effort to dramatically increase the resources available to NHS hospitals in treating these patients, involving reorganisation of hospital facilities, redeployment of existing staff and a drive to bring in recently retired and newly graduated staff to fight the pandemic.

These increases in demand and changes to supply will not only affect patients with the coronavirus, but will have large knock-on effects on the care provided to the wider population. This briefing note examines the likely implications for healthcare delivery in the short and medium term of the responses to the coronavirus pandemic, focusing primarily on the implications for non-coronavirus patients.


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