In response to NHS England’s monthly performance statistics, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“Despite significant increases in the number of people needing treatment, the NHS has again managed to keep its head above water and even deliver improvements on last year’s performance.
"This is good news for patients and the public and is in no small part down to the hard work of staff and robust planning from NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups and other local organisations.
“Yet these statistics show the pressure on the NHS is still at fever pitch – and that’s without the severely cold weather or flu and norovirus outbreaks that may be yet to come.
“We are not yet out of the woods and we need to find a more sustainable way of providing care. The new NHS Long Term Plan, with its emphasis on joined-up community care, is a major step forward and should help to improve patient care and relieve pressure on hospitals and other front-line services.
“The public may again be concerned that key waiting time targets, such as the A&E four-hour standard, are again not being met. But they should take comfort from the fact that more people than ever are being treated within the four-hour standard.