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While covid-19’s second wave appears a little less destructive than the first, it is bringing steeply rising admissions in the areas most affected — and sparking a somewhat chaotic reaction as health systems try to prepare for it while keeping planned care on track.

With the focus in the summer on restoring elective care while the sun shone, the government did not fund the NHS’ request for extra covid step-down care, and there’s now also a scramble to start routine testing of asymptomatic staff.

Featuring HSJ’s North West and North East correspondents – Lawrence Dunhill and Matt Discombe – with deputy editor Dave West.

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