In response to the latest monthly performance statistics from NHS England, Nick Ville, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said:
“Levels of demand on the health service are showing no signs of slowing down, which inevitably places even more strain on an already overstretched system.
“NHS trusts, hospitals and local services are doing all they can for our patients, and our talented and dedicated workforce continue to perform admirably. However, we are seeing more increases in A&E attendances both year-on-year and month-on-month, at a time when we are in the throes of a severe workforce shortage and funding is limited.
“This pressure is also reflected in the fact that targets for 18-week maximum waiting times for referral for treatment are not being met, which suggests capacity for care must be increased across the board.
“Meanwhile, it was reassuring to see that ambulance trusts met an average response time target for the first time. Their hard work and success is highly commendable.
“We look forward to seeing the Long Term Plan bear fruit, as its focus on joined-up community services should enable us to make real progress in improving patient care and alleviating some of the strain on staff at the frontline. We also look forward to seeing the new workforce implementation strategy once it is published later this year.”