Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it the policy of the Government to require NHS hospitals to make provision for elective surgery seven days a week; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

As part of the third phase of the National Health Service response to COVID-19, focus is on accelerating the return of non-COVID-19 health services, including elective care, and the NHS will be looking to deliver the following elective activity levels in the coming months:

- In September, delivering at least 80% of last year’s activity for both overnight electives and for outpatient/daycase procedures, rising to 90% in October;

- Return to at least 90% of their last year’s levels of MRI/CT and endoscopy procedures, with the goal to reach 100% by October; and

- 100% of last year’s activity for first outpatient attendances and follow-ups (face to face or virtually) from September through the balance of the year (and aiming for 90% in August).

Providers, working as local systems, have been asked by 21 September to submit draft plans for how they intend to meet the key actions in the phase 3 guidance. The restoration of non-COVID-19 services will be done whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures and alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 spikes locally and possibly nationally.

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