Never ending ‘winter’ for overstretched NHS services, says NHS Confederation

Nick Ville

In response to the latest monthly performance statistics from NHS England, Nick Ville, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said:

“These figures once again reveal the relentless pressure that NHS staff are being placed under. Just when we hoped the pressure from winter would ease, staff continue to be overloaded with major increases in A&E attendances compared to last year. This shows that winter pressures are experienced all year round and need to be addressed.

“The skilled and dedicated staff working in front-line NHS services continue to do all they can for patients, but there is only so far they can stretch, and unsurprisingly, the NHS is unable to meet many of its performance targets.

“But there are some glimmers of hope, with more people using NHS111 and a continuing decrease in overall delayed transfers of care. However, waiting lists are still growing and that represents thousands of extra patients who are not getting the treatment they need.

“Overall, the latest statistics give us further proof, if any were needed, of how important it is for the NHS to implement the vision set out in the Long Term Plan. Joining up care for our local communities will be vital if the NHS is to improve care for patients and respond to rising demand. That and a new workforce strategy to address the NHS staffing crisis will be crucial to the long-term sustainability of the health service.”

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