Experts warn that the cost of living crisis will add strain to ‘creaking’ NHS

Healthcare professionals warn that the cost of living crisis will add further strain to an already imperilled NHS this autumn, if urgent action is not taken.

Healthcare professionals say the NHS is at risk of a surge in hospital admissions, operations being cancelled en masse, and increasing difficulties over discharging patients if such pressures, potentially combined with a further wave of Covid and a bad flu season, are not tackled.

The warnings come after the health secretary, Steve Barclay, said on Sunday that there needed to be a “real sprint” within Whitehall to get ready for September, telling the Telegraph hospitals were facing “very serious challenges coming down the track in the autumn”

Julian Tang, a clinical virologist and honorary associate professor in respiratory sciences at the University of Leicester, said the cost of living crisis could affect the NHS if people are unable to heat their homes or have adequate food.

“Unless there is a lot of government financial support, I think this winter will be very difficult for a lot of people,” he said, noting the cold can worsen conditions from heart disease to chronic lung disease and diabetes, while Covid or flu infections can also aggravate such illnesses.

Full story in the Guardian,