Responding to NHS Improvement’s quarterly performance of the NHS provider sector report, Nick Ville, Director of Policy at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“These figures reflect the stark reality facing NHS trusts resulting from the combination of relentless increases in patient demand, 100,000 staff vacancies and the legacy of a decade of austerity.
“NHS Improvement’s report shows that NHS staff are working harder than ever, with more patients being treated whilst delivering efficiency savings.
“Despite this, the NHS continues to be unable to meet its performance targets as the funding available has not kept pace with the demands on front-line services. This has led to the financial performance of NHS trusts being more than £250 million behind what was planned.
“The good news is that the new Five Year funding settlement and the NHS Long Term Plan provides stability and a welcome vision for the future. But we should be under no illusions about the scale of the challenge facing the NHS to get back into the black, meet key waiting time targets and address the staff shortages holding the service back.”