Responding to NHS Improvement's latest report on the performance of the NHS provider sector, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said:
“These latest figures prove our members are delivering high quality services against all the odds at a time of unprecedented demand and financial pressure.
“However, the fact that A&E attendances and admissions continue to rise demonstrates the pressure the provider sector is under.
“Throw into the mix the 25.9 per cent jump in responses to time-critical and life-threatening ambulance calls, and the stats begin to back-up the views of our members who say the current system is not-fit-for-purpose.
“The challenge lies not just in hospitals - we have shortages of community nurses, GPs, social care services and nursing home places, all of which are vital in taking pressure off the hospitals.
“Last year the NHS managed incredibly well but we cannot continue just to rely on a hope that viruses will not wreak havoc, that the weather will be clement and that staff commitment will get us through.
“We will continue to push the government for a comprehensive review looking at which services are needed, where they are needed, how much they will cost, and how they will be funded – because as summer fades, the prospect of another difficult winter looms.”