'Act early' to avoid a winter crisis says intensive care expert

  • Watch an interview with Charlotte Summers, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at University of Cambridge

A professor of intensive care medicine at the University of Cambridge says the best way to avoid the NHS reaching a crisis point is to take action early.

Professor Charlotte Summers said waiting till the NHS was in crisis was too late and the country was already facing a very "challenging winter".

Covid cases across the region have continued to rise with health leaders warning of a "winter crisis" if some restrictions such as mandatory face coverings were not reintroduced.

The government says there are currently no plans to introduce its 'Plan B', which could also include vaccine passports for nightclub entry and more working from home.

But ministers are encouraging people to wear masks in public places and keep themselves and other people safe.

"Waiting till we hit a crisis is not the way to handle things," Prof Summers said.

"The way to handle pandemics is to act early to mitigate reaching a crisis point. So if we take actions such as wearing face coverings when we're indoors or on public transport," she said.

Getting vaccines when they're offered for both flu and covid, getting tested when we had symptoms would also be a huge help in driving down infection rates, she said.