The pressure on the health service in the winter months is a perennial problem, whose causes have been known but not acted on for some time, writes Prof Jon Bennett of the British Thoracic Society
Your article (NHS alarm over rise in number of UK Covid patients on ventilators, 23 June) mentions that NHS trust leaders are concerned about the pressures that they will face this winter, particularly that a winter surge in Covid-19 could collide with illnesses such as flu and respiratory viruses, posing “a significant challenge” to the health system.
However, there is nothing novel about these concerns, as the pressure on the NHS in winter months is a perennial crisis, whose causes have been known but not acted on for many years. The Covid-19 pandemic has merely highlighted them. We know when winter pressures start and when they peak, and that Covid-19 will make dealing with this surge more difficult to manage.